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Corr\plirr\errts of 


fliT]ericari Exchange Bar)K Building, 









ROCKFORD, llili.: 

Forest City Publishing Company. 

dune, 1891. 



Original Photographs by 

Roekford, - - Illinois. 

Fewest Gifey. 

The din of commerce greets the listener's ear, 
Hammer and anvil sound an echo clear, 
The sturdy tread of honest labor's foot 
Tells where the oak of progress finds a root. 

HE primitive and painted Indian warrior who stood upon the bank of what is 
now Rock river a trifle over half a century ago, could not have imagined 
in his wildest hour that child of his could live to see a stately city rise 
from the prairie and point its hundreds of factory chimneys toward the 
azure dome. But such a vision became palpable, and he himself bore reluctant 
evidence of the first steps toward this wondrous transformation. The white man 
came, and the red brother abandoned his tepee and disappeared before the wave of 

Now Rockford is a city of thirty thousand progressive people; brimful of busi- 
ness and bustle, and toiling tirelessly. Her citizens are pleased with her past, 
proud of her present, and fulsome for her future. The fleeting years have made 
much of her and she stands to-day a queen amid queens and destined for great ends. 
Men come and go; clouds form and burst; stars rise and fade; but fair Rockford 
came to stay. Her pulse beats with enduring vigor and the chill of decreptitude can 
never reach her heart. 

It is not the intention of this little book, however, to give an unnatural gloss to 
her present or future. We deal only in facts; cold, hard realities. The city was 
settled by sturdy men from New York and New England, and their descendants 
are here to day. They are not rainbow chasers, fiction fanciers or snake charmers ; 
they are citizens with a world of faith in the prowess of their own right arms. 
Unaided they have established a wonderful manufacturing municipality. Without 
soliciting outside capital they have started hundreds of industries whose product 
foots up many millions every year. They h.ave created a city with broad paved 
streets, luxuriant homes, unequalled water and sewer systems and perfect fire and 
police protection; a city where good government and enterprise march hand in 
hand. The men who have made this rose to blossom are in a position to talk facts. 
Facts are what they speak to-day. They are talking to you. 


Past ar}d Present, 

'S first settlers were Germanicus Kent and Thatcher Blake, who 
came from Galena in 1835 and built a saw mill on Kent's creek near 
where the Illinois Central depot now stands. A ford across Rock river 
was at that place, and hence the name Rockford. A rope ferry suc- 
ceeded to the ford, and in 1836 the county of Winnebago was organized 
with Rockford as the county seat. The territory also included what is now the 
county of Boone, and at the first election 128 votes were cast. The same area now 
has a population of over 60,000 souls, half of whom dwell in the city of Rockford, 
the queen of Northern Illinois. 

The first saw mill which marked the city as a manufacturing point has long 
since disappeared, but 170 other industries have arisen, Phoenix like, and now 
Rockford lays claim to the title of the industrial city of the west. Against that 
claim there are none to say her nay. Her dinner pail brigade of eight thousand fac- 
tory employes forms an argument that cannot be gainsaid. 

Tei] Thousand Worshippers. 

k OCKFORD is a city of churches. There are twenty-seven religious organ- 
izations, and at least eight of them own property exceeding in value 
$50,000 each. Three of the largest and most expensive churches in the 
state are located in Rockford. The greatest Swedish congregation in the 
United States is found in the First Lutheran church, which has a member- 
ship of 2,300 and can seat them all in their handsome edifice. The Court Street 
M. E. church has the largest membership of any society of that denomination in 
the state and worship in a structure costing over $80,000. The Second Congrega- 
tional society is just completing a $100,000 edifice. St. Mary's Catholic church owns 
a $75,000 structure and the parish has a membership of 2,200 souls. All the religious 
denominations are in a prosperous condition and combine a total membership 
exceeding ten thousand persons. The churches are divided as follows : Baptist 
three, Catholic two, Christian two, Congregational three, Episcopal one, Lutheran 
five, Methodist six, Presbyterian three, Unity one. These various societies 
mvn church property exceeding $800,000 in value and the edifices have a seating 
capacity of nearly twenty thousand persons. 

The Yount,' Men's Christian Association have a stalwart organization in Rock- 
ford and their headquarters is one of the beauty spots in a city of handsome build. 
iiiLT-. The association has 300 active members and their building and lot at the 
corner of State and Madison streets represents an investment of about $60,000. 


Not a 

disclaims the suggestion of being a boom town. She needs no 
brass band to puff her prowess. The extraordinary growth of the past 
two vears Das not been attained by minstrel methods. Her own citizens 
have expended capital that demanded earnest toil to complete the idea of 
the investor. Skilled labor accordingly came to her doors and found a 
ready market. Homes were needed for the new arrivals, and more mechanics were 
required to build them. Thus the chain lengthened until all branches experienced 
a wholesome advance. Rockford has doubled her population within a decade, and 
more than sixty per cent, of this increase has been in the two years ending May 1st 
1891. There is no evidence of a cessation. On the contrary never was the city so 
full of life and promise as at this time. Labor is in strong demand. There are no 
idle factories, empty stores nor vacant homes in the entire city, and this in spite of 
the unparalleled building operations that have been and are going on. 

Secret Societies, 

i HE social side of Rockford claims the admiration of all visitors. Her people 
are fraternal and hospitable, as becomes a community which traces its 
ancestry back to the old Now England homes. Within her gates are many 
social organizations in which the stranger finds a cordial greeting. The 
many secret societies which adorn the social fabric of the nation are widely repre- 
sented in the city. The Masonic bodies are very strong, as are also the Odd Fellow 
organizations and Knights of Pythias. The uniformed rank of the latter finds its 
headquarters here, as also do the Select Knights, the Good Templars and the 
Grand Circle of White Men. Other organizations are the Elks, the Red Men, the 
Foresters, the Royal League, the Hibernians, the A. O. U. W., the Royal Arcanum, 
the Knights of Honor, the Modern Woodmen, and something less than a score of 
other secret bodies. There are also very many social and literary clubs, assem- 
bling for various purposes. Many of these are luxuriantly located and all in flour- 
ishing condition. The Thursday Knights, the Y. M. C. U. and the Knights Tem- 
plar have exceptionally handsome headquarters. 

Education ir| RocKford. 

k N unrivalled opportunity is afforded the young idea to shoot in the city of 
Rockford. Nothing lies between it and the zenith sun. The municipal- 
ity supports fourteen large public schools and three annexes, in which all 
common school branches are taught by competent instructors. Besides 
this there are the famous Rockford Seminary, the Rockford College, the 
Rockford Academy and other private schools where general knowledge may be 
acquired, and also various conservatories and schools of art and music. The cen- 
sus shows a population of over ten thousand souls between the ages of six and 
twenty-one, and of this number nearly four thousand are duly enrolled in the pub- 
lic schools under seventy -five skilled teachers. The management rests in a board 
of education and a school committee of the common council. The Hisrh school is a 
magnificent building, occupying a commanding site on the east bank of the river. 
It was erected at a cost of $40,000. The fourteen schools of the city represent an 
investment of $250,000 for the buildings and sites. Prof. P. R. Walker is superin- 
tendent of schools. 

The Rockford Seminary was founded forty-two years ago, and its alumnaj may 
be found all over Ihe land. Among its graduates are many who have found fame in 
the various avenues of life that are open to the gentle sex. The buildings are situ- 
ated in a romantic park of ten acres lying on the river's bank. The property is 
valued at over $100,000 and the average number of pupils is about 125. Rockford 
college more especially educates its pupils for a business career, and is a large and 
flourishing school. A graduate of the Rockford high school is admitted without 
question or examination into the leading colleges and universities of the country. 

Har)dsonne Easiness Blocks. 

ERTAINLY no more unfailing criterion of the material progress and pros- 
perity of Rockford could be adduced than the number of solid and sub- 
stantial business houses which have been built; many conspicuous for their 
artistic architectural design and the completeness of their appointments. Among 
them might be mentioned the Stewart block, costing $80,000, Perry & Lake block, 
costing $>0, 000, Third National Bank and Blake block, costing $40,000, Central block, 
costing $->5,000, Sumner block, costing $25,000, Burpee and Woodruff block, $50,000. 
Rockford National Bank, $45,000, and the Hutching & Lake block, $30,000. But 
while the progress made in 1889 and '90 was remarkable, the present year gives 
greater promise of an unprecedented activity, as a large number of magnificent 
buildings are to be started, among which are the new hotel costing $250,000. the 
Commercial Bank building to cost $150,000, and also the government building to 
<rost $100,000. 


Not a 

^t OCKFORD disclaims the suggestion of being a boom town. She needs no 
1 brass band to pnff her prowess. The extraordinary growth of the past 
two rears has not been attained by minstrel methods. Her own citizens 
have expended capital that demanded earnest toil to complete the idea of 
the investor. Skilled labor accordingly came to her doors and found a 
ready market. Homes were needed for the new arrivals, and more mechanics were 
required to build them. Thus the chain lengthened until all branches experienced 
a wholesome advance. Rockford has doubled her population within a decade, and 
more than sixty per cent, of this increase has been in the two years ending May 1st 
1891. There is no evidence of a cessation. On the contrary never was the city so 
full of life and promise as at this time. Labor is in strong demand. There are no 
idle factories, empty stores nor vacant homes in the entire city, and this in spite of 
the unparalleled building operations that have been and are going on. 

Secret Societies. 

i HE social side of Rockford claims the admiration of all visitors. Her people 
are fraternal and hospitable, as becomes a community which traces its 
ancestry back to the old New England homes. Within her gates are many 
social organizations in which the stranger finds a cordial greeting. The 
many secret societies -which adorn the social fabric of the nation are widely repre- 
sented in the city. The Masonic bodies are very strong, as are also the Odd Fellow 
organizations and Knights of Pythias. The uniformed rank of the latter finds its 
headquarters here, as also do the Select Knights, the Good Templars and the 
Grand Circle of White Men. Other organizations are the Elks, the Red Men, the 
Foresters, the Royal League, the Hibernians, the A. O. U. W., the Royal Arcanum, 
the Knights of Honor, the Modern Woodmen, and something less than a score of 
other secret bodies. There are also very many social and literary clubs, assem- 
bling for various purposes. Many of these are luxuriantly located and all in flour- 
ishing condition. The Thursday Knights, the Y. M. C. U. and the Knights Tem- 
plar have exceptionally handsome headquarters. 


Pleasures of Silnqnqer, 

URING the torrid months of summer and the mellow autumn days the 
Rockfordite and his visitor from abroad brush away many of the cares of 
commerce and take advantage of the numerous opportunities afforded 
for out of door recreation. Rock river, one of the most picturesque 
streams in the west flows through the city, and its banks are lined with many 
beauty spots. Picnic and camping parties pitch their quarters above and below 
the city, and within easy reach; so that the elements are not to be feared. The 
Rockford Yacht Club was formed last year, and operates the spruce and staunch 
little steamer Arrow, which plys up and down the river constantly, visiting the 
recreation parks and camping grounds. The vessel will carry two hundred 
passengers, and is but one of a numerous fleet of steam and sail craft that plow 
the picturesque stream. Harlem Park, Remington Park, Riverside, Arrow Park, 
Latham Grove and Edgewater are some of the superb retreats along the river bank. 
The former is a part of the river boulevard, and is reached by driveway and electric 
car, as well as by the stream. It has been converted into an elaborate park, and is 
utilized for tncnics, promenade concerts, encampments, and other out-of-door 
gatherings. The novel Switchback railroad, or midsummer toboggan, is located 
here, and is a drawing card for the park. The Fair association have grounds near 
the center of the city that form a natural amphitheatre. They are illuminated 
by electricity and devoted to summer night concerts as well as the fair. The 
property contains a half mile race track, and is used by the city as a public park. 

The Rockford Driving Club was organized in the early spring of 1891, with 
Frank G. Smith, President, H. H. Palmer, Vice President, C. C. Jones, Secretary, 
and Geo. L. Woodruff, Treasurer. The club owns magnificent grounds, embracing 
seventy acres, and have laid out a kite-shaped mile track that is pronounced the best 
and fastest in the west with one exception. The park contains an amphitheatre 
seating three thousand persons, and all the appointments are patterned from the 
most approved racing courses of the world. The club gives at least two trotting 
meetings each year, and offers liberal purses. The grounds are easily accessible by 
electric cars or the St. Paul road, lying just north of the city limits. 

The Rockford Base Ball Club was organized this year, with that crack player 
and manager, Hugh Micol, at the helm. The club secured a franchise in the Illinois 
and Iowa league, composed of eight lively cities. They have a strong team, and 
their park is located in the west end on the route of the new electric street car line. 
The club promises to finish a successful season. 

Only seven miles from Rockford are the famed Blackhawk Springs. Within 
easy reach are the many delightful lakes of Southern Wisconsin and Northern 
Illinois. The city is in the "health belt," and her people need scarcely stir from 
their doors to seek a fresh and invigorating summer resort. The Ransom Sani- 
tarium, located on the river just north of the city, has quite a reputation as a 
curative establishment, whether it be the summer or the winter season. 

All things considered, Rockford is especially favored in her situation. The 
blizzards of winter and the extreme sultry days when the dog star rules do not fall 
to her lot. The climate is even, and the annual rain-fall comparitively small; all of 
which assists in sustaining the city's claim as a spot for healthful out-door 


Rs a Jobbing Poir\t. 

veloped into quite a jobbing center. The same factors which 
have been instrumental in making her a manufacturing center, are the ones 
which contribute largely to her success as a jobbing point. The railway 
facilities are unexcelled. In supplying surrounding towns and cities quite a 
wholesale and jobbing'trade has been established in drugs, groceries, harness, paper, 
cigars, snuff, meats and seeds, reaching annually into a very handsome sum. 

CorTqnqercial Cliib. 

NE of the city's more recent creations is the Commercial Club, formed the 
present year and already domiciled in a handsome home on North Main 
street in the stylish residence portion of the city. Their club house possesses 
perhaps the handsomest interior in the town, the decorations alone costing $3,000- 
The membership includes fifty or more of the young business men of the city, who 
find the Club residence a very convenient and attractive spot in which to entertain 
friends from other cities. The Club is quite a social one and there is a ladies 1 recep- 
tion night each week. The officers are : O. P. Trahern, President; E. H. Keeler, 
Vice-President ; Paul F. Schuster, Secretary and Treasurer. 

Water Worlds. 

water supply of the city is a source of special pride to the citizens and of 
profit to the municipality. The water works represent an investment of 
$400,000 on the part of the city, and they yield a handsome revenue each 
year. The supply comes from five artesian wells, having an average depth of 1500 
feet each. The works are fully equipped with the best Holly machinery and the 
pumps have a capacity of eleven million gallons per diem enough to supply a city 
of 75,000 inhabitants. The water is as pure and sparkling as that which flows from 
a mountain spring. There are forty miles of water mains laid in the city, and many 
more to follow. There are three hundred public hydrants for fire service. The 
total pumpage at the works during 1890 was 866,000,000. The revenue of the water 
department was $27,000 and the operating expenses $11,000. There are no cities in 
the Union better or more cheaply supplied with water than Rockford. The whole 
is under the efficient charge of Chas. W. Calkins, chief engineer and superintendent.. 




>HE affairs of the city are in an enviable condition in spite of the large sums 
that have been expended for public improvements within the past two or 
three years. Rockford owns property to the value of a million dollars, and 
her indebtedness is only $250,000. The assessment is based upon one- 
tenth to one-fifth of the actual valuation, and the rate of taxation is about three 
per cent on these figures much less than in almost every other growing city in 
the state. Within the past two years the city has expended $125,000 for bridges and 
$70,000 for paving. There are now fourteen miles of large sewer mains, making an 
excellent drainage system which is being added to from month to month. The 
entire business portion of the city is splendidly paved, and two miles more of brick 
pavement is now being laid in other districts. Electric street railways run to all 
parts of the city and clear out to all the later factory additions, furnishing rapid 
and satisfactory communication in every way. The city possesses every metropol- 
itan advantage, and the electric lights that hover over her are not more brighter 
than her future. The business-like administration of Mayor J. H. Sherratt which 
witnessed so many permanent municipal improvements, finds a worthy successor 
in that of Mayor Harry N. Starr. 

Fire Department 

ANOTHER thing that is pardonable in the citizens of Rockford is the 
amount of pride which they take in the fire department, which has not 
only a local reputation but is celebrated throughout the state for its effi- 
ciency. It is a paid department, and numbers eighteen men. The prop- 
^rty consists of one steamer, one mogul, two hose carriages, two hose wagons, one 
hook and ladder wagon, twelve horses, 3,000 feet of hose, and four engine houses. 
The value of this property is S38.874.00. Edward Hefferan is chief marshal, suc- 
ceeding that efficient officer, John T. Lakin. Owing to the promptness and the 
manner in which the department is handled, we will venture to make the asser- 
tion that Rockford has a less number of fires than any city of its size in the state. 
The city has twenty-four miles of fire alarm telegraph with twenty-eight boxes and 
seven house stations, affording rapid communication with the factory districts. 

Police Protection. 

|M')N(; the many things which catch the eye of a stranger upon entering 
Rockford is its police force, which is composed of as fine and handsome 
a lot of men as one might see in many a day, and who manage to keep the 
rougher element in the "straight and narrow way," and thus maintain the rep- 
utation which Rockford has as a moral city. The force numbers eighteen men, 
with Ed. Tisdale as chief. 

fl Railroad City. 

i HE tie that binds the railroad tie, is one that bisects Rockford at frequent 
intervals and easily connects her with all the- thoroughfares of steel that 
cover the face of the continent as with a net. The city lies on four great 
systems of railroad, and is one of the greatest points for travel and ship- 
ment that the Mississippi Valley contains. Fifty passenger trains arrive or 
depart daily, bearing their thousands of travelers to all parts of the land. The 
city is but a little over two hours' run distant from Chicago, and there are more 
than a score of luxurious trains running daily between the two points. For the 
handling of freight the arrangement? are perfect. Nearly every one of the two 
hundred industrial enterprises of the city are connected by sidetrack with some 
road, and there is a project on foot for the construction of a belt line around the 
town for the accommodation and advantage of all. Rockford gets the benefit of a 
low rate on in and out freights, and is so situated that lumber, iron, coal, and all 
raw materials are quickly and cheaply brought to her doors. 

The aggregate of freight handled at Rockford station by all roads is enormous. 
Mile after mile of trains pass out or in each week, bearing to all the world the story 
of her prowess as a city of commerce and industry. 


Perhaps as prime a factor in the city's marvellous growth of recent years was the 
entrance of the Illinois Central railway into the limits. It cost the company some- 
thing like a million dollars, but when the work was completed the city began to 
put on its good clothes and to swell. The company now has nearly five miles of 
sidetracks and yards in and around Rockford, and a score of large factories have 
been erected along their right of way, to all of which they have lent their encour- 
agement. Small wonder, then; that the Rockfordite swears by the Central and 
calls it the godfather of the boom. The main line from Chicago to Sioux City 


pa*>es thn>u<:h Rrckford, and tin- most luxurious and rapid trains in the 
West pass over it. Two hour? has been beaten between Rockford and Chicago, and 
this division has been pronounced the best piece of railway construction west of 
New York. Certain and rapid connection with all of the company's 3,000 miles of 
rail west, east, north, and south is afforded from Rockford, and all trains roll into a 
palatial passenger station, which is pronounced the greatest beauty spot on the 
line of any railway in the state. Both the freight and passenger business of the 
company is enormous, and much is due to the tireless energy and popularity of the 
treneral agent at Rockford, Aid. Ed. W. Brown. 


Rockford stands as an important point on the mighty Burlington system by vir- 
tue of its being the northern terminus of the Chicago & Iowa road, one of the exten- 
sive lines included in their operations and controlled entirely by them. The divi- 
sion extends to Aurora, with connections at that place, Shabbona, orRochelle, with 
the main Burlington lines in the north and west. The magnificent train service of 
this trreat system of steel is a matter of praise on the part of all tourists. For 
speed, luxury and safety the Burlington trains challenge the universe. Close and 
certain connections are made to enable the traveler to quickly reach any one of the 
hundreds of stations on the system, as well as to open the entire railway opera- 
tions of the land to his accommodation. The local business of the road is very 
large. Many of Rbckford's heaviest shippers are on the right of way, and all have 
facilities afforded by a complete system of sidetracks. The business, both freight 
and passenger, continually shows a wholesome increase. Supt. H D. Judson, of 
the Chicago division, is in charge of affairs at Aurora, and Al. G. Everett is the 
efficient general agent of the road with headquarters in Rockford. There are over 
7,000 miles of steel railway directly controlled by the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy system, and all is quickly available from Rockford. 


This system, pronounced the greatest in the world, has an important division 
passing thiough Rockford, and a huge business, especially jn the way of bringing 
in lumber from the north, is transacted. Trains run from Madison to Davis Junc- 
tion, connecting with their main lines east and west, and reaching the thousands of 
lively stations touched by the company. Their interests here are looked after by 
J. A. Cotton. The company occupy a passenger station jointly with the C. & I;, 
with Lew Blake as general ticket agent. 


One of the greatest, and the pioneer division of this huge system is the 120 
miles of track between Freeport and Chicago, and on which Rockford is the lead- 
ing station. All points on the 7.000 miles of rail controlled by this company can 
easily and quickly be reached from Rockford by means of the handsome vestibule 
trains that pass through daily. They do a very large business, both freight and 
l>;i-M-nger, and their interests locally are in charge of E. E. Manning. 

Field of Fir)ar|ce. 

HE numerous banking and financial institutions of the city have always 
deservedly commanded the confidence of the community. No breath of 
.suspicion or portent of panic has ever dimmed their credit. There are 
now six national and two state banks. Two others are in process of organ- 
ization. All are luxuriantly housed and possess every modern safeguard against 
the attack of the fire fiend. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a 
needle than for a cracksman to enter the strong box of a Rockford bank. 
Recent statements made by them are summarized below : 

Forest City National Bank. John D. Waterman, President; Paul F. 
Schuster, Cashier. After but 223 days of business the loans and discounts were 
$1(53,263; total resources, 5230,223; cash capital, $100,000; deposits, $101,130; surplus, 

Rockford National Bank. Gilbert Woodruff, President; W. F. Wood- 
ruff, Cashier. Capital, $100,000; resources, $478,303; surplus and profits, $97,967. 

Second National Bank. G. A. Sanford, President; Geo. E. King, 
Cashier. Capital, $2'X),COO; resources, $837,863; surplus and profits, $93,174. 

Winnefoago National Bank. T. D. Robertson. President; Chandler 
Starr, Cashier. Capital, $100,000; resources, $704,648; surplus and profits, $121,989. 

Manufacturers' National Bank. C. O. Upton, President; A. P.Flo- 
berg, Cashier. Capital, $125,000; resources, $428,690; surplus and profits, $20,422. 

Peoples' Bank. A. D. Forbes, President; W. H. McCutchan, Cashier. 
Capital $125,OCO; resources, $607,320.50; surplus and profits, $55,593.78. 

American Exchange Bank. John Budlong, President; Rob't L. Giffen, 
Cashier. Capital, $50,000; established 1891. 

Third National Bank. A. C. Spafford, President; G. C. Spafford, 
Cashier. Capital, $80,000; resources, $526,257; surplus and profits, $55,975. 


Home Building and Loan Association. Seely Perry, President; 
Geo. F. Penfield, Secretary. Authorized capital, $1,000,000; assets, $346,362; loans 
in force, 8329,245. 

Swedish Building and Loan Association. P. A. Peterson, Presi- 
dent : Alfred T. Lindgren, Secretary. Capital, $2,000,000; assets, $75,681.85; loans in 
force, *<ir>.:;i;:,. 411. 

Rockford Building and Loan Association. E. H. Keeler, Presi- 
dent : s. Fletcher We\ 'burn, Secretary. Authorized capital, $20,000,000; organized 
Oct. is'.in: ;i>st-!>. >i:;.sv!4: loans in force, $13,450. 

Itockford Security and Investment Company. Daniel Goodlander, 
President: S. Fletcher Weyburn. Secretary. Capital, $50,000; organized May, 1890. 


1C or Moid Insurance Company. John Lake, President; Chas. E. 
Sheldon. Secretary. Capital. .f2!X),()!i >: assets, fS01,4S8; net surplus, $90,214. 

Forest City Insurance Company. Gilbert Woodruff, President: A. II. 
Sherratt, Secretary. Capital, $100,000: asset?, $434,316; net surplus, $88,284. 

Ulan 11 fac Hirers' and Merchants' Mutual Insurance Company. 

H. \V. Price, President: Geo. S. Roper, Secretary. Assets, $298,564; net surplus, 

SUnqEqary of Facts ar|d Figures 

citizens of Rockford may well feel proud of the magnificent showing 
which its industries make, aS [will be seen by the following facts and fig- 
ures which have been carefully compiled, and may be relied upon: 

Capital invested $ 6,703,500 00 

Annual product 15,439,000 00 

Annual pay roll (for same) 4,393,000 00 

Making a weekly pay roll in factories alone 83.41232 

Actual number of industries 174 

Actual number of hands employed 7,893 

Tlqe Various "Ends. 

V the vast development of the past two years, and the fact that twenty-seven 
new manufacturing industries have been added to the city within that time 
have made many an acre into urban property that formerly lay without 
the pale of the city limits and was largely given over to the peaceful pur 
suits of agriculture. Of the 750 homes built or being built within the past two 
yean, one-third have been erected on this erstwhile outlying property, and the 
greatest improvement to the city is here noted. The factories, too, have gone into 
these new addtions, and hence their future is well assured. The North End, the 
West Kud. The Kast Hnd, and the Southeastern additions all clearly demonstrate 
that the growth of Rockford is regular and certain. . All values have greatly 
advanced, and the city is becoming compactly built up with homes that are far 
superior to those that any other manufacturing city in the world can boast of. 


Tt]e Co-operative Idea. 

a score of the largest manufacturing institutions of the city the co-opera- 
tive plan of conduct prevails. The most insignificant employe possesses his 
share of stock and feels a lively interest in the business Such things as 
strikes or labor troubles are never heard of neither are there any failures. 
The feeling between employer and employed is that of mingled interest and divi- 
sion of profit. In no city in the union is this situation more pronounced than in 
Rockford. Then, too, the great diversity of the city's manufactures place her 
beyond the reach of market fluctuations or climatic influence. There are no enor- 
mous factories in the city where labor troubles may foment or business depres- 
sion affect an entire community. There are over 600 different articles manufac- 
tured in the 174 different industrial institutions of which the city boasts, and 
hence a disturbance in any particular branch can never bring a tremor to the Rock- 
ford pulse. Her industries are as immovable as the hills and as regular as the 
hour glass. 

Industrial Directory, 


Clitrax Slide and Table Company. Capital stock, $50,000. B. A. 
Knight, President; E. R. Lahman, Secretary. Manufactures extension table slides 
and center tables. Annual output, $50,000; employ forty hands; pay roll $25.000; 
factory (brick) 3(5x70, three stories high. 

Central Furniture Company. Located at the southeast end of water 
power; organized in 1878; capital, $125,000. Its present officers are: S. A. Johnson, 
President: J. R. Anderson, Vice-President; Aug. Peterson, Secretary and Treasur- 
er. They are manufacturers of bookcases, desks and extension tables, and esti- 
mate their annual output at $150,000. They employ 140 hands, with an annual pay 
roll of $75,000. The size of its factories are 40x100, 40x70, 80x102, four stories : and 
50x52, two stories high. 

Diamond Furniture Company. Formed in March, 1890, succeeding 
to the business of Fred Bigalow. They manufacture patent office chairs and other 
similar Hues of furniture. The capital stock is $50,00i), and the officers are A. F. 
Judd, President: and Fred A. Dow, Secretary and Treasurer. The company 
employs fifty hand-, with an annmil pay roll of $30,000, and turn out a product 
aggregating $60,000. They are about to build a new factory in Manning's subdivision. 

Excelsior Furniture Company. Organized in 1881, with a capital 
stock of $50,000. The present officers are Thos. D. Reber, President; Aug. Haegg, 
Yice-President ; C. F. Salstrom, Secretary and Treasurer. They manufacture a fine 
grade of parlor furniture. The annual output is $90,000. They employ seventy- 
five hands, with an annual pay roll of $35,000. The factory is of brick and wood 
60x100 and 80x100, three stories in height, with an engine house 60x20. 

Forest City Furniture Company. Rockford's pioneer industry in the 
furniture line. The business was established in 1869 by A. C. Johnson, and the 
present company was incorporated in 1875. The officers are: Gilbert Woodruff, 
President; R. W. Emereon, Secretary and Treasurer; A. C. Johnson, Superintend- 
ent A general line of furniture and office desks is manufactured. The capital 
stock of the company is $150,000. The plant of the company includes four large four- 
story brick buildings, with a floor area of 150,000 square feet. They also have six 
acres of yard room for lumber storage. They employ an average of 240 hands and 
do a business exceeding $300,OTO a year. 

Illinois Chair Company. Organized in April, 1891; capital stock of 
$50,000, with R. L. McCullocb, President; G. E. Knight, Secretary. They will employ 
200 hands, with an annual pay roll of $100,000, and estimate their annual output at 
$200,000. They will manufacture a fine line of chairs. The main building will be 
of brick 135x65, three stories high, with large warehouse, 80x80, three stories. 

mechanics' Furniture Company. Formed in the spring of 1890, with 
the following officers: L. M. Noling, President; John Ek, Vice President; Jonas 
Peters, Secretary; A. P. Floberg, Treasurer; Alfred Kjerner, superintendent. Man- 
ufacture a line of hall trees, desks, book-cases and cabinets. Capital, $75,000; 
employ eighty bands, with an annual pay roll of $40,000, and a product of $125,000. 
The factory is of brick and frame, located at the corner of Seminary Street and the 
C. & I. crossing. The building is 80x144 feet in size and four stories high. 

Phoenix Furniture Factory. Located at the corner of Fulton and Latham 
.Ave., North End; are manufacturers of chamber suits, extension tables, and chif- 
foniers : organized July 1st, 1890, with a capital stock of $50,000, with Ed. H. Marsh, 
President; Geo. Penfield, Vice President; Chas. E.Cohoe, Secretary and Treasurer; 
employ 100 hands, with an annual pay roll of $36,500; estimated annual output 
$125,000. The buildings are brick, 128x80, four stories high and a basement, engine 
room 40x50. 

Rockford Burial Case Company. Located corner Peach and 
Ogden Streets. Capital stock, $75,000. L. B. Williams, President; W. C. Blinn, 
Tice-President; C. L. Grout, Secretary and Treasurer. Company organized in 
1882. They manufacture wood and cloth finished caskets. Annual product. $75,000; 
employ thirty hands, with a pay roll yearly of $15,000; factory of brick, 100x50 and 
50x50, four stories and basement. 

Rockford Co-operative Furniture Company. Located at the corner 
of Ninth Street and Railroad Avenue. Capital stock, $50,000. Present officers: 
P. A. Peterson, President; C. A. Hult, Secretary and Treasurer; C. E. Knudson, 
Superintendent. They manufacture a line of combination and cylinder book-cases, 
sideboards, tables and office desks; annual output, $175,000; employ 135 hands, with 
an annual pay roll of $65,000. The factories are of brick, four stories high, 42x110, 
50x130, with engine room 42x50. 

Rockford Chair and Furniture Company. Organized in 1882. Cap- 
ital, $100,000. The officers are: Andrew Kjellgren, President; Alex. Johnson, Vice- 
President: Robert C. Lind, Secretary and Treasurer. Located on Railroad Avenue; 
manufacture a line of book-cases, ladies' desks and fancy furniture. Their plant 
includes three buildings, 50x150 four stories, 100x100 four stories, and an office and 
warehouse 50x150, one story high. They employ over 220 hands; annual pay roll, 
$90.000, and their product exceeds $225,000 yearly. 

Rockford Cabinet Company. Organized in 1880, but recently moved to 
the West End. The capital stock is $50,000. Present officers: Geo. F. Kellogg, 
President; A. D. Early, Vice President; Chas. H. Porter, Secretary and Treasurer. 
They manufacture a fine grade of wood mantles, and give employment to 65 hands, 
with an annual pay roll of $30.000, and produce annually 875,000 worth of goods. 
The factory is of brick, 64x128, four stories Men. 

RockJord I)e*>k and Furniture Company. Located on Morth Sec- 
ond Street, in the Knightville addition. Capital, $50,000. The officers are: A. P. 
Floberg, President: Robert Bauch, Vice-President; O. Berquist, Secretary and 
Treasurer. Manufacture a line of desks, secretaries, combination, library and 
extension tables. Their annual product will aggregate $110.000; employ 115 hands, 
with an annual pay roll of $55,000. Their factory building is brick veneered, 65xl2O 
feet in size and four stories and basement high. 

Rockford Mantel and Furniture Company. Incorporated May 10, 
1890, with a capital stock of $100,000. The officers are: Alex. Johnson, President; 
P. A. Peterson, Vice-President; and Louis Sandine, Secretary and Treasurer. They 
manufacture a line of mantels and hall trees, and produce annually $150,000 worth 
of goods; give employment to 125 men, with a yearly pay roll of $75,000. The fac- 
tory is of brick 82x182, three stories and basement. 

Rockford Standard Furniture Company. Located on Railroad 
Avenue. Capital stock, $75,000. Officers : J. A. Lundgren, President ; P. H. 
Palmer, Vice-President and Superintendent; D. R. Peterson, Secretary and Treas- 
urer. The company was organized in 1887, and manufactures a line of sideboards, 
book-cases, cabinets and secretaries: employ 135 hands; annual product, $150,000, 
with an annual pay roll of $65,000. Their plant includes two large four-story brick 
veneered buildings, respectively 66x125 and 97x115 feet in size. 

Rockford Union Furniture Company. Organized in 1876. Capital 
and surplus, $100,000. Its present officers are: C. F. Anderson, President; C. F. 
Blomberg, Vice-President; and P. A. Peterson, Secretary and Treasurer. They are 
manufacturers of ladies' cabinet book-cases and pillar tables, and do an annual 
business of over $250,000 per year; employ 250 bands, with an annual pay roll of 
$125.000. The factory is of brick 80x176 and 128x160, three stories high. 

Furniture Company. Located on North Third Street, and 
manufacture a line of hall-treee, book-cases, cylinder desks, secretaries and pillar 
extension tables. The company was organized in 1889, with a capital stock of 
$75,000. Present officers: P. A. Peterson, President; G. Flodell, Vice-President; W. 
A. Brolin, Secretary and Treasurer. They produce annually $150,000 worth of 
goods.'and give employment to 150 hands, with a pay roll of $72,000 per year. The 
buildings[are of brick, 64x128 and 64x128, four stories and a basement high. 


Star Furniture Company. Located at corner of Eighteenth Avenue and 
Fourteenth Street : manufacturers of combination book and library cases, hall 
trees. Capital stock. $100.01)0. Its present officers are F. G. Hogland, President; 
Anthony Stenholm. Yiee-President : Aug. P. Floberg, Treasurer; P. G. Lundquist, 
Secretary ; G. L. Wenerstrom, Superintendent They employ 140 hands, with an 
annual pay roll of $60,000: annual product. $125,000: factory is built of brick 80x160, 
four stories high, and it is their intention to build this summer a warehouse 80x160, 
four stories hiirh. 

West End Furniture Company. Located corner of Factory Street and 
Johnson Avenue: organized July 7. 1890. with a capital stock of $50,000. Present 
officers are: B. A. Knight. President; O. \V. Haegg, Vice President and Secretary: 
Paul Schuster, Treasurer. They are manufacturers of book-cases, side-boards, hall- 
trees, tables and chiffoniers: give employment to 150 hands, with an annual pay 
roll of $80,000, and estimate their output at $200, 000 per year. The factory is 80x144, 
five" stories and basement high, and built of brick. 


The W. F. & John Barnes Company. The business was first estab- 
lished in 1871, and the present corporation formed in 1884. The officers are W. 
Fletcher Barnes, President : B.Frank Barnes, Vice-President; and John Barnes, 
Secretary and Treasurer. Their buildings are located at the corner of Water and 
Oak Streets, in East Rockford, and the company manufacture foot, hand and steam 
power machinery for wood and iron working; lathes, drills, saws, emery grinders, 
and various specialties. They have an average of 175 employes on their pay-roll. 
Their:main building is of brick, four stories high. The company occupy a total of 
nearly an acre of floor area. 

II. B. Basing & Company. Located Race Street, water power; manu- 
facturers of M. C. Thompson sulky cultivators, hay-rakes, lever harrows, plow 
jointers and coulters; amount of capital invested $3,000. They employ twelve 
hands, with an annual pay-roll of $3,000. Annual output, $15,000; occupy two top 
floors, 80x120, of N. C. Thompson building. 

Emerson, Talcott A; Co. This concern is one of Rockford's oldest and 
most reliable firms, having been first established in 1852; incorporated in 1876. 
They manufacture agricultural implements, and produce annually, almost one mil- 
lion dollars' worth of their goods, and give employment to 350 hands, with au 
annual pay-roll of $225,000. The factories cover two and one half acres of ground. 

Forest Cily Bit and Tool Company. This firm is located on Kish- 
wnukee Street, and has a capital stock of $25,000. Its present officers are L. M. 
Xoling, President; A. J. Anderson, Vice-President; Auc. Floberg, Treasurer; 
Oscar J. F. Larson, Secretary. They manufacture a full line of bits and wood 
boring tools, and produce annually $50,000 worth of their goods; employ twenty- 
five hands, with an annual pay-roll of $15,000. The factory is of brick, 40x100, three 
stories high. 

, Woodruff* &. Co. The manufacture of pumps, windmills and elec- 
tric fire alarm* is carried on at Nos. 117 and 119 South Court Street, and was estab- 
lished in 1874. A capital of $25,000 is invested in the business, and an average of 
fifteen hands are employed. The business transacted will aggregate $40,000, with 
an annual pay-roll of $6,000. The buildings occupied are of frame, one 22x70, two 
stories, and the other, 22x50, one story high. 

Rockford Bolt Work*. Located on Mill Street. Capital stock, $20,030; 
company was organized in 1877. The officers are: S. B. Wilkins, President; R. H. 
Tinker, Vice-President; C. R. Wise, Secretary and Treasurer. They employ sixty 
hands, with an annnal pay roll of $40,030 The business runs up annually into six 
figures. The building is of stone. 80x233, two stories high. 

Rockford manufacturing Company. Authorized capital, $200,030. 
John A. Johnson, President; L. M. Noling, Vice-President; Aug. P. Floberg, Treas- 
urer; August Lind, Secretary; incorporated 1889; manufacturers of agricultural 
implements; employ sixty hands, with an annual pay-roll of $25,000; factory, 220x 
175, two stories. 

Rockford Neckyoke Work*. C. Eugene Sovereign is proprietor, and 
manufactures neckyokes, axle washers, carriage top dressing, harness soap, and 
other specialties, occupying part of the four-story stone building, 50x150 feet in 
size, located at 640 South Main Street. The capital invested is about $10,000. An 
average of twelve hands are employed, with a pay-roll of $7,000, and an annual pro- 
duct of $25,000. The business was established in 1880. 

Rockford Plow Company. The present company was incorporated in 
1883, with a capital of $125,000. The officers are E. L. Woodruff, President; B. A. 
Knight, Vice-President; T. M. Carpenter, Secretary and Treasurer. The com- 
pany's plant is located on Mill Street, on the water power, and includes a main 
building built of stone, 50x140 feet in size, and four stories high. There are six 
other buildings for warehouse and finishing purposes. The company employs an 
average of seventy-five men, and does an annual business of $200,000. Their pay- 
roll averages $80,000, and they manufacture plows, planter?, cultivators, seeders 
and other agricultural implements. 

Shoudy manufacturing Company. The business is conducted by 
Israel Shoudy, with an invested capital of $10,000, and was established in 
1888. Tank heaters, feed cookers, grinders, lawn mower attachments, and all other 
specialties are manufactured, with a force of ten employes. The business will foo t 
up to $10,000 a year, with a pay-roll of $3,000. The building occupied is on South 
Wyman Street, on the water power, is of frame, 30x60, two stories high, with a 
30x40 wing. 

The Skandla Plow Company. Located at the corner of Cedar and 
South Court Stieets. The capital stock is $125,000. The present officers and direc- 
tors are: P. A. Peterson, President: John Peterson, Vice President; J. A. Lund- 
jrren. Secretary and Treasurer. They manufacture a line of gang and sulky plows, 
corn planters, check-rowers, barrows and cultivators. Annual product, $200,000, 
and employs eighty -five hands, with an annual pay-roll of $12,000. Factory 45x100 
and 40x100, three stories high, with blacksmith shop 60x120, and warehouse 50x100. 


Traliern Puirp Coinpaiiy. This is one'of Rockford's strongest institu- 
tions. The business was originally established in the 60'?, but was reincorporated 
in 1888, with O. P. Trahern as President and John A. Lewis, Secretary and Treas- 
urer. Tbe capital paid in is $120,000, and the company manufactures a complete 
line of iron and brass pumps, employing from eighty to one hundred hands the 
year round. Their plant is located at the corner of Wyman and Mill Streets, on 
the water power, and embraces a three-story stone machine shop, 42xt>2; a one- 
story stone foundry 40x115; a five-story brick office and warehouse 30x100; a two- 
story iron warehouse, 45x80, and a brass foundry of brick, 25x60 feet in size and 
three stories high. 

Utter manufacturing Company. This concern is located on both sides 
of Race Street on the water power. The capital stock of the company is $75,000, 
and the officers are: H. B. Utter, President; E. M. Utter, Vice-President; J. M. 
Fraley, Secretary and Treasurer. The business was first established in 1848, and 
incorporated in 1876. The company employs an average of fifty hands in the man- 
ufacture of seeders, cultivators, and a general line of agricultural implements. 
Their plant includes a machine shop and foundry, of stone, one and three stories 
high and 42x120 feet in size; a pattern and blacksmith shop, of brick, 30x120 feet 
and three stories high; also five warehouses, embracing about 25,000 feet of total 
floor area. 

Ward Pump Company. This company was organized in 1889, with a 
capital stock of $59,000. Its present officers are: Frank Ward, President; G. H. 
Stanley, Vice-President; F. Lane, Secretary; M. E. Ward, Treasurer. They manu- 
facture a full line of iron pumps and cylinders, and produce annually $50,000 worth 
of goods, giving employment to forty men, with an annual pay-roll of $20,000. The 
factory is of brick and wood, covering an acre of ground. 

The L. A. Weybnrn Company. This incorporation was formed in 1885, 
with L. A. Weybnro as President, and Geo. S. Briggs, Secretary. They manufac- 
ture blacksmiths' supplies, live shrinkers, screen doors and hardware novelties, 
and occupy several buildings on the water power. Their capital stock is $20,000, 
and they do a business nearly, if not quite, aggregating $100,000 per annum. They 
employ an average of thirty-five hands, with an annual pay-roll of $18,000. Their 
main building is 50x140, built of stone. 

A. W. Woodward. The business was established in 1872, and a line of 
water wheel governors and machinery specialties is made. Tbe capital invested is 
about $7,000. Three employes are at work, and the pay-roll aggregates $2,000, with 
an annual product of $3,000. The building is located on Mill Street, on the water 
power, is of wood, 25x50 feet in size, and two stories high. 



Charles Andrews &; Co. The Andrews wire works was first established in 
1885, and in December 1890 removed to their new building in the West End. All 
kinds of wire goods are turned out, and the business represents an investment of 
$6,000. An average of fifteen hands are employed with a pay roll of $5,000 and an 
annual output footing up to over $10,000. There are two frame buildings, one 30x60 
two stories, and the other 15x20 one story high. 

H. G. Dickinson & Co. They are located on Race street, water power, and 
-do a general jobbing and repair business of all kinds of machinery. They employ 
four hands with an annual pay roll of $2,500, and estimate their annual business at 

A- llaiiiinill. The business of this brass foundry was established in 1890 in a 
one story brick and frame building 20x100, located on Forbes street, on the water 
power. Small brass castings are made, and the business will foot up to $2.500 a 

Tin- liigersoll milling machine Company. Located in Edgewater Ad- 
dition; organized, April 1891, with capital stock of $80,000. The officers are: Win- 
throp Ingersoll, President; R. L. McCulloch, Secretary; W. H. McCutchan, 
Treasurer. They manufacture a line of iron milling machinery, and estimate their 
annual output at $125,000. They employ one hundred hands with an annual pay 
roll of $50,000. The factory is of brick, 150x50, two stories high. 

Lillibrldge & Fibacli. Are located on Race street, water power; capital 
invested $6,000. They do all kinds of repairing in brass and metals, and also 
bicycles. They employ twenty hands with an annual pay roll of $7,200, and do a 
yearly business of $18.000. Factory is of wood, two stories high. 30x60. 

Love Manufacturing Company. This corporation was formed in 1890, 
with a capital of $10,000, and does a general machine shop business both in iron and 
wood, and also conduct a foundry for light and heavy castings. Their machine shop 
is of frame, 40x50 feet in size and two stories high; the foundry is 50x125. one 
story. The company employs thirty five hands, with an annual pay roll of $20,000; 
the business of the concern during the year will foot up to $50,000. 

via mi Y l.'inoii Juice Extractor Company. This company is located 
at 106 North Church street, and manufactures a novelty in the shape of a glass 
extractor which has met with good success, and the firm are doing a nice business 
annually. Its officers are: Win. A. Talcott, President: Win. Lathrop and Jno. P. 
Manny, Vice-Presidents: Miss .!. C. Lathrop, Secretary and Treasurer. The com- 
pany was organized in October, 1890, with a capital stock of $25,000. 

TOunsoii manufacturing Company. The company was formed in 
Anirust 1MH with a capital of $3,000. A. M. Munson is President, George S. Briggs, 
Vice -President, ami 1,. A. Weyburn. Secretary. They occupy a one story frame 
building. 40x70, located on South Wyman street on the water power. The company 
manufacture barb wire, employing three men and turning out a product of $18,000 a 
year. The pay roll is about $1.500 per annum. 


Barney JlcCarren. Boiler maker; capital invested $4,000; employs . five 
hands with animal pay roll of $3,500: annual product $15,000. 

Tlie Rook! brd Brass Work*. Do a general jobbing business of bronze 
and brass castings. Located on Mill street, water power; capital stock $10,000 B. 
E. Trahern, President; F. B. Trahern, Treasurer; and H. Trahern, secretary. The 
company was organized in 1890; annual product $20,000, employing ten hands; 
the annual pay roll amounts to $3,600: size of factory 25x50, three stories high, built 
of brick. 

Rockford Electrical vi;mufa< luring Company. The company is 
located at the corner of Grant and Fulton avenues; the capital stock is $100,000. 
Its present officers and directors are: C. M. Haven, President; E. A. Van Wie, Sec- 
retary and Treasurer: and Geo. A. Mayo, Superintendent. They manufacture arc 
and incandescent dynamos and motors and railway generators. They give employ- 
ment to eighty-five hands, with an annual pay roll of $22,000, and produce yearly 
$150,000 worth of goods. The factory is built of glass and wood and is 50x250 with 
L 24x48 and engine house 10x24, one story high. 

The Rockford Machine Company. Is located at 904 Tenth street: has 
a capital stock of $10,000; incorporated in 1889. Its present officers are: Chas. A. 
Forsburg, President and Superintendent; \V. F. Noling, Secretary and Treasurer. 
They are manufacturers of special machinery for woodwork; they do an annual 
business of $15,000, and give employment to twelve hands, with an annual pay roll 
of $6,000. The factory is 22x65, one story high. 

Rockford Malleable Iron Works. The business of this concern was 
first established in 1854. but the present company was not incorporated until 1890. 
A. D. Forbes is President, Harry F. Forbes, Secretary; and George Forbes, Superin- 
tendent. The company turn out malleable iron castings and their capital stock is 
$75,000. They occupy several brick, stone and frame buildings at the corner of 
Mill and Forbes streets on the water power, covering an area of 25,000 square feet, 
one and two stories high. These buildings were largely rebuilt in 1885. The com- 
pany employ an average of seventy-five hands with an annual pay roll of about 
$32,000, and do a business aggregating $100,000 per annum. 

The Rockford Steam Boiler Works. Jas. McCarren, proprietor Cap- 
ital invested $4,000; does a general business as boiler-maker and repair work 
amounting to $15,000 per year; employs five bands with an annual pay roll of $3,900: 
the shop is 40x80. one story high and built of brick. 

Rockford Tack Company was organized in 1874; capital stock $40,000. Its 
present officers are : H. W. Price, President; Levi Rhoades, Vice President; Elias 
Cosper, Secretary and Treasurer; Harry Cosper, Superintendent. The articles 
manufactured are tacks and small nails. They employ forty hands; annual pay 
roll f2,200. The present factory was built in 1877 and is composed of stone, being 
40x96, three stories high, with an L 30x8i two stories high. They do a businrs* 
annually of $100.000; their goods are shipped to all parts of the country. 

James Rogers. The Rockford Galvanizing Works were bought by the pres- 
ent proprietor in March, 1890, and are located on Race street, on the water power. 
The capital invested i> *2..">m: four hands are employed and the business foots up 
to $5,000 a year. The building occupied is a frame structure 20x40 feet in size and 
two stories hiirh : the annual pay roll is about $2.0)0. 


ST. MAKV- -. \TiinLir < nri:< ii. 

Jolm Spaffbrd & Co., manufacture all kinds of wire goods; John Spafford 
ole proprietor; capital invested $30,0;.).): established since 1876; employs twelve 
hands with an annual pay roll of $9,600; annual output $30,000. The factory is 
located at 201 and 203 North Madison street: size of factory 42x80, three stories and 
basement: structure of stone. 

Savage A. Love. This firm have a general machine shop and pattern-making 
industry occupying the first floor of the four story stone building at 640 South Main 
street. They have an invested capital of 810,000 and do an annual business of 
$25,000: they employ fifteen hands with an annual pay roll of about $7,500. Their 
establishment is 50x100 feet in size, and the firm have been doing business since 

Spengler Brothers. This firm opened a machine shop and oxydized brass 
business February 1st, 1891. They occupy the second floor of a three story frame 
building 40x110 located on Race street, on the water power; their capital invested 
is about $4,000; they will employ about twelve hands with an annual pay roll of 
about $6,000 and a business of $2<>,000 per annum. 

Taylor & Worsley. Do general jobbing and repair of iron work. Capital 
invested $2.000: organized Dec. 1st, 1890, and are located on Race street, water 
power; estimated out-put, $8,000; employ two hands; size of shop 40x60, one story, 

Union Foundry and machine Company. Located on Cedar street, 
and do a jobbing business of all kinds of ironcastings; capital invested $25,000; 
Geo. Peterson & Sons, proprietors. They employ thirty hands, with an annual pay 
roll of $16,800; annual output $40,' 00; foundry of wood, two stories high, 70x90. 

The Van Wie C>as Stove Company. This company is another of Rock- 
ford's latest acquisitions, having moved here from Cleveland, Ohio, in September 
1890. They manufacture gas heating and cooking stoves and their appliances; have 
a capital stock of $40,000, with the present officers: P. G. Van Wie, President; Geo. 
S. Roper. Vice President; Geo. D. Roper, Secretary and Treasurer. They employ 
seventy-five hands at an annual outlay of $30,000. and estimate their annual output 
at $200,000. The factory is of brick, two stories high, and is located at the corner of 
Van Wie street and Huffman Boulevard: size of building 300x31S. 



!;<>. KFuKI) T.\ K (>MI'ANY PLANT. 


Forest City Knitting Co. This company was organized in November 
1890, with a capital stock of 160,000, with Wm. Nelson; President; Oscar Nelson, 
Vice-President; F. F. Nelson, Secretary and Treasurer. They manufacture a line 
of fine ladies' and gentlemen's cotton hosiery, and produce annually over $200.000 
worth. They employ one hundred hands, with an annual pay-roll of $25,000. The 
factory is of brick, two stories high, 200x39, with an L 106x39. 

Globe Clothing Company. This concern is located at the corner of 
Sixth Street and Eleventh Avenue, and was incorporated December 13, 1889, with a 
capital of $50,000. The directors are: August Lunduerg, President: C. A. Gustaf- 
son, Vice-President: Axel Rydberg, Secretary; Aug. P. Floberg, Treasurer; C. J. 
Dahlin, Gust Lindblade, Gust Holm, Levin Eksell, directors. They employ forty, 
live hands, with an annual pay-roll of $13,500, and their product, will foot up to 
$75,000. Their building was erected in 1890, is built of bric-k, 57x100 feet in size 
and three stories high. 

Graham Cotton 71 ill*. This company was organized in 1865. The capi- 
tal stock is $150,000, with G. A. Sanford, President; and Freeman Graham, Jr., Sec- 
retary and Treasurer. They manufacture carpet warp, cotton towels, cotton bat- 
ten, and seamless socks, and produce annually $450,000; employ 145 hands, with an 
annual pay-roll of $60,000. They occupy three large factories on the water power. 
The company also have large cotton and paper mills at Rock Island, employing 600 

The Nelson Knitting Company. Located on water power. This com- 
pany was organized in 1880. 'J he capital stock is $160,000. Antes Rub], Secretary 
and Treasurer. They manufacture a line of seamless cotton hosiery, and manufac- 
ture over 1,500,000 dozen pairs annually. The factories cover two acres of ground. 
They employ 400 hands, and do a business of over $800,000 a year. 

Henry W. Price, Glove Works. Business established in 1862; located 
corner of Wyman and Peach Streets, in two three-story frame buildings; manufac- 
ture tanned leather gloves ; product of factory, $200, ^XX); total business, $500,000 a 
year; employ 140 hands, with an annual pay-roll of $75,000. 

IChoades, Utter & Co. This is a corporation formed in 1890, and suc- 
ceeding to the paper mill and jobbing business of Rhoades & Utter, established in 
1865. The officers are: Levi Rhoades, President; C. M. Utter, Vice President; and 
M. B. St. John, Secretary and Treasurer. They manufacture seven tons of straw 
wrapping paper a day, footing up to $46,000 a year. They employ thirty hands, 
with an annual pay-roll of $15,000. Their plant is located on Mill Street, on the 
water power. They occupy three buildings: one two story and basement, frame, 
40x64; one two story and basement, stone, 40x62; one one-story frame warehouse, 

1C or k lord Linen Fibre Company. Organized June 1891. Capital 
stock $100,000. Will manufacture paper pulp in the Keeney paper mill plant; 
will employ about forty hands, with an annual pay-roll of $22,000. They>stimate 
their annual product at' $200,000. 




Hocklbrd Clothing Company. This concern was formed in 1887. The- 
officers are Antes S. Ruhl, President; A. D. Early, Vice-President : and A. L. Brear- 
ley, Secretary and Treasurer. The capital stock is $30,000, and the company manu- 
factures men's clothing to order and for the jobbing trade. They employ nearly 
one hundred hands, with an annual pay-roll of $30,000, and do a business aggrega- 
ting ? 150, 000 a year. Their building is of brick, two stories high, located at the 
corner of Church and Chestnut Streets. It was built in 1838, is 32x132 feet in s'ze, 
with an extensive wing. 

Rockford iHittcn a ml Hosiery Company. Located on South Wyman 
and Cedar Streets. They are manufacturers of woolen mittens and hosiery, with a 
capital stock of $150,000. The company was organized in 1881, but was reorgan- 
i/i-d in 1885. The officers are: Wm. Ziock, President and Treasurer; W. A. Talcott, 
Vice-President ;W. H. Ziock, Secretary ; directors Wm. Ziock, W. A. Talcott, W. H. 
Ziock, Falph Emerson, Wm. Walton, Oscar Nelson, and A. S. Ruhl. They employ 
145 hands, with an annual pay-roll amounting to $42,000. The annual product is 
$300,000. The building is 180x180, three stories high, the structure being frame. 

S. B. Ylilkiii* Company. Manufacture full line of yarns and hosiery, at 
corner of South Wyman and Cedar Streets; company organized January 1,1884, 
with a paid up capital of $150,000. The officers are S. B. Wilkins, President: John 
W. Hart, Secretary and Treasurer; Geo. S. Wilkins, Assistant Secretary and Treas- 
urer; employ 300 hands, with an annual pay-roll of $90,000. Value of yearly pro- 
duct aggregates $450,000. Buildings are of brick and wood, two and three stories 
high, and include 35,000 square feet of floor area. They were built in 1881 for S B. 
Wilkins <fe Co , who were succeeded by the present corporation. 

Rockford Overall Manufacturing Company. Located G40 South 
Main Street. Levi Rhoades, President; B. F. Lee, Vice President; Geo. L. Irvine, 
Secretary and Treasurer. This firm make a general line of working men's goods, 
consisting of overalls, pants, jackets, shirts, etc.; employ seventy hands; factory, 
50x150, two floors. 

Hook ford Suspender Company. (Successors to J. N. Faust). Company 
was incorporated January 1, 1891, with a capital stock of $520,000. Its present offi- 
cers are D. F. Sullivan, President; J. F. Ogilby, Vice-President ; J. N. Faust, Secre- 
tary and Treasurer. They are manufacturers of suspenders, braces and hose sup- 
porters. They employ thirty hands, with an annual pay-roll of $15,000, and estimate 
their annual output at $120,000; size of factory. 40x80, one floor, and located corner 
of North Madison and Market Streets. 

Rockford Woolen mills Company. The business was first estab- 
lished in 1863 by John and William Dyson. The present company was incorpora- 
ted in 1883, and the officers are: R. P. Lane, President; Jeremiah Davis, Vice Presi- 
dent; William Dyson, Secretary and Treasurer. They manufacture wool, flannels, 
yarns and shawls. They have about forty operatives, turning out a product of 
$40,000 a year, with a pay-roll aggregating $15,000. Their plant includes three 
buildings. Their main structure is 32xC2, four stories high ; machine room 30x50, 
three stories; warehouse 25x50, two stories. All are of frame and located on Mill 
Street, on the Water Power. 

Henry Ulrici. The business of manufacturing paper boxes was established 
in 1864. and is now conducted in a two-story and basement frame building, 40x100 
feet, built in 1U37, and situated at No. 10C8 Mulberry Street. 1 he capital invested in 
the business is about $8,000, and an average of twenty hands are employed. 





Royal Sewing Machine Company. This company is one of Rock- 
ford's greatest factories. The company was organized July 1890, and commenced 
operation February 1, 1891. Its capital stock is $100,000, with officers as follows: 
John Budlong. President; P. A. Peterson. Vice-President : S. S. Budlong, Treas- 
urer; Jno. A. Bowman, Secretary. They employ 200 hands, with an annual pay- 
roll of $120,000, and estimate their annual product at $1,000,000. The factory is of 
brick, and one of the few which have made any attempt at architectural beauty. It 
is 544xJ4. two stories high, with engine room, 50x62. 

W. W. Swiuyer. Manufactures rubber stamps and office novelties, 
rear of post office. The business was established in 1883: occupies two rooms 
in a three-story brick building. Employs three hands. Invested capital. $1.000. 
Annual product, $5,500. 

J. E. Atchison. Capital invested, $3,500. Employs seven hands, with a 
pay-roll annually of $3,000; product, $7,000; does a general carriage business and 
wagon trade. 

O. E. Burrows' cigar factory is at 220 South Main Street, occupying part 
of a three-story brick block. Five men are employed, with an annual product of 
310,000. The pay-roll runs about $3,500 per annum. 

R. Aiiglemire. Located on North Wyman Street: manufacturer of boots 
^nd shoes; established since 1873. Capital invested, $15,000; employs thirty hands, 
with an annual pay-roll of $15,000: produce yearly $10,000. Factory 23x50, three 
stories high, and built of stone. 

Avery Building and Ittoving Company. This company do a general 
moving business. Capital stock, $10,000: C. M. Avery, President; Chas. Shedd, Secre 
tary. They employ during the season from fifty to two hundred men, with an 
annual pay-roll of $15.000, and do an annual business of $35,000. 

Air Brush JTIanufac Curing Company. Located at 119 and 127 

North Main Street. This company was organized in April 1883, and its capital is 
$50,000, with the following officers : L. Walknp, President: L. B. Gregory, Vice- 
President; W. W. Bennett, Secretary and Treasurer; Will Bennett, Assistant Sec- 
retary. They manufacture Mr. Walkup's patent air brush, pantagraphs, etc., and 
do nickel plating. Twelve hands are employed, with an annual pay-roll of $5,500. 
The company doe a business of $20,000 a year, and occupies the second story of a 
handsome brick building, 80x100 feet in size. An art school for air brush students 
is connected. 

A. L,. Bart lett. Elevator, feed mill and warehouse, No. 506 Cedar Street. 
Business established in 1856. Capital invested, $20,000. Main building built 1870, 
30x50 feet in size. Three warehouses also connected. Main buildings of wood and 
iron, two stories high. Employs seven hands, with an average annual pay-roll of 
.4.000. The average business in the manufacturing line aggregates $25,000. 


J. G. Cliiek Milling Company. This company was incorporated in 

January 1889. with a capital of $100,000. The officers are J.'.G. Chick, President; F. 
A. Chick, Vice President; J. B. Antes, Secretary: F. L. Chick, Treasurer. They 
manufacture all kinds of flour and feed, and do an annual business of $350,000, 
employing twenty-five hands, with an annual pay-roll of $15,000. The mill was 
first built in 1854, since which date several additions have been added. 

Blakeman A Dobson Manufacturing Company. The business 
was established in 1880 by Blakeman & Dobson, who incorporated nnder the pres- 
ent title in 1883. Benjamin Blakeman is President and Wm. Dobson Secretary of 
the company. They operate a planing mill and manufacture barrel churns. The 
capital stock is $30,000, and they employ an average of fifty hands, with a pay-roll of 
$25,000. They do a business of $90, 000, a year. Their plant is located at the corner 
of Pleasant and Cedar Streets. Their main building is 50x80 feet in size, and a 
machine room 40x70; both buildings are four stories high. 

The Brown Brick Company. This .company has a capital stock of 
$10,000. Its present officers are Sam'l Ennett, President ; C. J. Jones, Secretary. 
They manufacture a line of fine white brick. Annual product, $15,000; give employ- 
ment to twenty employes, with an annual pay-roll of $9,360. 

Connors' Lime Kiln. John Connors, Proprietor. He has $8,000 capital 
invested, and employs fourteen hands, with an annual pay-roll amounting to 
$7,200, and does an annual business of $18,000. 

S. B. Hendrlcks conducts a planing mill on Race Street on the water 
power, and also manufactures wooden water tanks. The business was estab- 
lished in July 189), with an investment of $4,000. A business of $10,000 a year is 
now being done by an average of eight employes, and a pay-roll of $3,500. The 
mill building is 60x100, with stuccoed exterior, and is one story high. 

Hess A Hopkins' Leather Company. Tannery located at foot of 
Acorn Street; office and warehouse, 515 West State Street. Business first estab- 
lished in 1875; present company incorporated in 1882, with a capital of $50,000. 
Samuel N. Jones, President; L. M. Hess, Vice-President; T. F. Hopkins, Secre- 
tary and Treasurer. The company does a business of tanning harness leather, and 
manufacture horse collars and fly-nets. Their main building is 93x112, built of 
frame, and mainly four stories high. It was built in 1882 and added to in 1887-89-91 . 
The company employs sixty-five men, with an annual pay-roll of $37,000, and does a 
business exceeding $130,000 a year. 

The T. J. Derwcnt Company. This company was organized in 1865; 
incorporated 1890, with a capital stock of $10,000. Its present officers are: T. J. 
Derwent, President: Tbos. Derwent, Vice-President; Luther Derwent, Secretary 
and Treasurer. They are manufacturers of doors, sash, blinds, stair-work and 
moulding-, and employ twenty hands, with an annual pay-roll of $12,000; annual 
product, $50,000. Factory is located south end water power, built of wood, and is 
30x100, two stories high. 

The Excelsior Dry Plate Company. This firm is located at No. 122 
South Second Street. Capital stock, $4.500. Present officers are: P.L.Wright, 
President: Henry Shedd, Secretary and Treasurer; and produce annually $15,000 
worth of their goods. They employ seven hands, with an annual pay-roll of 

: factory is. of wood. 40x60. two stoiies high. 



Dewey's Steam Laundry. W. E. Dewey, proprietor. Capita 1 involved, 
$2,500. The business amounts to $10,000 per year; employs eight hands, with an 
annual pay-roll of $3,200. The building is 30x76, one story high. 

Eugene Ford. Manufacturer of all kinds of light carriages, and factory 
located 206 North Wyman Street; amount of capital invested. $4,000, and estimates 
his annual output at $12,000; gives employment to eight hands, with an annual pay- 
roll of $>,000. The factory is a frame structure, 44x70 in size, two stories high 

<; rah a m's Distillery. This firm consists of Julius, Freeman and Byron 
Graham, with a capital stock of $150,000. They manufacture sour mash whiskies. 
The annual product is $300.000. They employ forty-five hands, with an annual pay- 
roll of $30,000. 

A. lliine. Manufacturer of barrels; located 810 Ninth Street. Capital invest- 
ed, $15,000, and does an annual business of $30,000; gives employment to fifteen 
hands, with an annual pay-roll of $10,000. The factories are frame, two stories 
high, 32x50, 24x50, 30x60, and 24x50. 

Knapp Shoe Company. This factory is one of Rockford's recent acqui- 
sitions, having moved here "from Brockton, Mass. They are manufacturers of 
gente' fine shoes. The capital stock is $75,000. They estimate their annual output at 
$J5,000; will employ 125 hands, with annual pay-roll of $75,000. The factory will 
be 1 14x26, three stories high. 

T. J. Ryan Packing House. Located on water power. Employ four- 
teen hands, and do a business of $40,000 per annum, with a pay-roll of $6,000; will 
build a huge packing house this year on east bank of the river. 

The Rockford Shoe Company. This factory is located on North 
Wyman Street, and are manufacturers of men's fine shoes. The capital stock is 
$60,000. The present officers are A. C Deming, President; J. W. Irvin, Vice-Presi- 
dent: S. C. Tribon, Secretary and Treasurer; company has been organized since 
August 1880, and do an annual business of $250,000. They give employment to 115 
hands, with an annual pay-roll of $50,000. The factory is built of stone and is 53x88, 
four stories high. 

Rockford Paint Manufacturing Company. Is located on Railroad 
Avenue. The capital stock is $8,000. B. A. Knight is President, and C. Lund, 
Secretary. They are manufacturers of all kinds of paints, and do a business an- 
nually of $12,000; give employment to five hands, with an annual pay-roll of $5,000. 
The factory is of brick, two stories high, 40x120. 

Rockford Oatmeal Company. Manufacturers of oatmeal and Nuda- 
vene flakes. Located at corner of Cedar and West Streets. Organized 1882. Rob't 
H. Tinker, President; Geo. H.Cormack, Vice President and Superintendent; Frank 
C. King, Secretary and Treasurer. Capital, $120,000. Average annual product, 
$750,000. Employs eighty hands, with an annual pay-roll of $30,000. Main mill 
built 1887, of brick, 70x120 feet in size, and four stories high; warehouse, brick, 
64x74 feet, four stories high. 

Rockford Lubricating Company. Organized July 1889, with a capital 
of $10,000. John Spafford, President; Miss Anna L. Hull, Secretary and Treasurer. 
Estimated output, $30,000; manufacture axle grease, lubricating and coach grease; 
employ six hands, with a pay-roll of $4,860 annually: size of factory, 42x100 feet, 
two floors. 


Roch ford Dry Plate Company. Located at 319 W. Slate street. Capi- 
tal stock, $3,000. B. F. Greene, Manager; do an annual business amounting to 
515,000; employ eight hands, with an annual pay-roll of $3,000. 

Rocklord Construction Company. This is a Rockford co-partnership, 
composed of Jones. Woodruff & Co., W. C. Butterworth, Watson Pierpont, D. E. 
Mead, A. W. Rutledge. and others. They are general contractors in the line of 
bridge building, paving, water works, construction and also operate brick yards at 
Rock Island. The business was established in 1888, and the firm employ from one 
hundred to one thousand hands. Their operations in 1890 exceeded half a million 

The Rockford Baking Company. Located Race Street, water power, 
was organized December 10, 1889. with a capital stock of $25,000; manufacture 
crackers and cookies of all kinds. J. W. Bartlett, President: D. G. Spaulding, 
Tice-President; C. E. Eskelsen, Secretary and Treasurer. Annual product, 
W), 000; employ thirty hands; pay-roll per year, $12,000. Factory, frame building, 
40x75, three stories high. 

H. If. Palmer dc Company. Manufacturers of churns, creameries, 
cooperage and general dairy articles. Located at corner of Cedar and Winnebago 
Streets. Business established in 1879. Capital invested, $50,000; employ about 
seventy hands, with an annual pay-roll of $27,000 The average annual product is 
$75,000. Main factory building is of wood, 75x132 feet in size, and two stories high, 
with warehouse 34x73, on opposite side of the street. 

marsh ITIitre Machine. H. C. Marsh, manufacturer. This machine is a 
mitre and picture frame vise combined. Annual output, $20,000; employs fifteen 
bands, with a pay-roll of $8,000. 

John IHcDerirald. Manufacturer of the Boss and Star Churns, also dog 
powers. Factory located at 212 to 220 North Madison Street. Capital invested, 
$40,000. Annual output, $40,000; employs thirty -hands, with an annual pay-roll 
amounting to $12,000; business established in 1871 ; factory of wood, 33x66, 36x66, 
22x66, two stories high and 3x66, four stories high. 

Novell's Meam Laundry. Located on North Wyman Street. Capital 
invested, $20,000: do an annual business of $16,000, and give employment to fifteen 
hands, with au annual pay-roll of $5,000; two-story building, 40x150. 

KaiiH'man Bros. Cigar makers: located at 120 South Main Street, and 
have been established since 1885. They employ six hands, with an annual output 
of $16000. Their annual pay-roll is $3,500; capital invested, $5,000. 

Larson & Lnndslrom. This firm started a planing mill in October, 1889, 
in a'one-story building, 40x75. on South Wyman Street, on the water power. They 
turn out mouldings, scroll work, and other house ornamentation, and are doing a 
business of $12,000, with an annual pay-roll of $4,000. They will employ about ten 
hands, with an invested capital of $3,000. 

Rockford SiiufTand Tobacco Company. Is located on Woodruff 
Avenue. Capital invested, $2,000. Its officers are: Chas. J. Nelson, President; 
has. J. Jones, Secretary; C. J. Anderson, Superintendent. They manufacture all 
kinds of snuff, and do an annual business of $5,000, and employ two hands, with an 
annual pay-roll of $1,500. The factory is of brick, two stories high, 34x30. 




Rockford Silver Plate Company. This company is located corner of 
Elm and Wyman Streets. The capital stock is $125,000; surplus, $50,000. The offi- 
cers are: H. W. Price, President: A. D. Forbes, Vice-President; G. B. Kelley, Sec- 
retary and Treasurer; A. C. Kelley, Assistant Secretary. The company was organ- 
ized in 1882, coming from Racine, Wis. They manufacture all kind;? of silver plate 
goods, and do a business annually of $225,000. They employ 140 hands, with an an- 
nual pay-roll of $60.000. The factory is of brick, 90x175, four stories high. 

The Rockford Specialty manufacturing* Company. Located at 
418 Cedar Street. They manufacture a line of jacket oil-cans, flour sifters, and 
flour casks G. W. Lane, sole proprietor. He does an annual business of $10,000, 
and employs seven hands, with an annual pay-roll of $2,800. The factory is of 
brick, 45x60, two stories high. 

Rockford Watch Company. This is perhaps the city's largest indus- 
trial concern, and was incorporated in 1874. The present directors are: Henry W. 
Price, President: William Lathrop, Vice-President; G. E. Knight, Secretary and 
Treasurer: Levi Rhoades, Israel Sovereign, H. B. Utter, W. H. McCutchan, Peter 
Sames, J. S. 1 icknor, and Irvin French. The capital stock is $28,200, and the 
company has also a cash surplus of $60,000. They manufacture a complete line of 
the celebrated Rockford watch movements, and have an average of 399 operatives. 
Their annual product will foot up to $600,000, and their pay-roll aggregates nearly 
$250,000. The buildings the company occupies were built in 1875-76, and are loca- 
ted on South Madison Street, on the East Side. They include one four stories high, 
40x75 feet in size, another is 40x61, three stories and basement. There is also a 
large engine and boiler room, and other buildings, all of which are handsomely 
and substantially constructed of brick and stone. 

Rockford Watch Case Company. Located at 11M16 South Main 
street. Manufacture and repair watch cases, etc. The company was organized in 
1872, and has a paid up capital of $70.000. Mr. J. S. Ticknor is President, John 
Barnes, Vice-Pres'dent; and A. K. Ticknor, Secretary and Treasurer. The com- 
pany occupies half of a two story stone and brick building, 66x156 feet in size and 
with boiler house in rear. The company averages sixty employes, with a pay-roll 
of $2,000 a month, and an annual product of $50,000. 

Peter Sames. Located at corner of Cedar and Church Streets; manufac- 
tures wagons of all kinds. Business established in 1858, with an invested capital 
of $25,000. Present factory built in 1870, is of wood and brick, covering a total area 
of 110x165 feet, one, two and three stories high; employs about twenty-five hands, 
with an annual product of $30,000. The annual pay-roll aggregates $12,000. 

Searle Son* & Company. Co-partnership, consisting of R. P. Searle, Ed. 
Scarle, and C. E. Bennett, successors to Searle-Bishop Lubricating Co., located 222. 
North Madison street; capital invested, $10,003; organized November 1K90: manu- 
facture "Monarch" Axle Grease and Lubricating Oils; annual product, $20.000; 
employ six hands, with annual pay-roll of $3,200. Factory of wood, 36x100, two 
stories high. 

Z. B. Sturtevant. Proprietor of the Rockford Flour Mills, located on 
Mill street on the water power. Capital invested, $75,000: manufactures wheat and 
rye flour and feed. Employs ten hands, with an annual pay-roll of $7,000. Annual 
product, $90,000. Mill is built of stone. 40x60 feet in size and four stories high; 
warehouse adjoining. 


The Star Steam Laundry. Hamley & Hazard proprietors. Capital 
invested, $2,500. The business amounts to $8,000 per year; employs seven hands, 
with an annual pay-roll of $2,700. The building is one story and basement. 

Superior Brick Co. Thi* company is located just north of the city limits; 
its'capital stock is $20,000: with E. H. Keeler, President; W. C. Butterworth, Vice- 
President; H. A. Block, Secretary and Treasurer. They do a business annually of 
$25,000, and employ fifteen hands, with an annual pay-roll of $10,000. 

Skaiidia Brick Company. Capital stock, $15.000. Gust. Flodell, President; 
C. J. Jones, Secretary and Treasurer. Manufactures red brick, and with aunual 
product, $30,000. Employ an average of fifty-five hands, with a pay-roll of $15,0*10. 

Swiss Steam Laundry. This firm consists of S. S. Brambaugh and Robt. 
H. Corse. The business is located at 119 North Main street. They do an annual 
business amounting to $9,000, and give employment to eleven hands, with an 
annual pay-roll amounting to $2,500. The size of laundry is 22x107. one story high. 

Douglas Ulrici. Book binder. Capital invested, $3,000. Annual out-put, 
$JO,000: employs seven hands, with annual pay-roll of $3,000. 

Chas. J. \Veldon. Located at 301 and 303 South Main street, and manufac- 
tures all kinds of carriages and wagons. Capital invested, $5,000. Employs twelve 
hands, with an annual pay-roll of $5,000, and does an annual business amounting to 
$30,000. Factory is a three story frame building, 40x40, with a blacksmith shop 

L. in. West manufacturing Company. They are manufacturers of 
carriage top dressing and harness soaps. Capital stock $40,000. The officers are, 
L. M. West, President; E. S. West, Vice-President ; H. H. West, Secretary. They 
-employ ten hands with an annual pay-roll of $5,000, and do a large business. 

Skandia Shoe manufacturing Company. Is located corner of Fifth 
street and Seventh avenue; was organized July, 1889, with a capital stock of $50,000. 
Its present officers are, Aug. P. Floberg, President; G. W. Swanson, Vice-President. 
N. P. Nelson, Secretary and Treasurer. They manufacture men's and ooys* fine 
hoes, and give employment to fifty hands, with an annual pay roll of $25,000. The 
annual product is $80,000. The factory is built of brick, 40x100, four stories high 
with engine room 40x30. 


Rockford City Railway Company. Reorganized in 1890. Capital, 
$150,000; R. N. Baylies, President; G. W. Carse, Secretary. Operate twelve miles 
of electric railway, with sixteen cars. Employ fifty hands, with an annual pay- 
roll of $25.000. 

West End Street Railway Company. Organized 1890. Capital, 
$30,000. J. S. Ticknor. President; A. K. Ticknor, Secretary. Operate four miles 
of eiertric railway, with six cars; employ twelve men, with an annual pay-roll of 

Central Union Telephone Company. R. H. Gibbony, Manager. 
Have 500 local subscribers, and employ twelve hands. Pay-roll $4,500. 




Rockford Electric Power Company. Organized 1889. Capital, 
$70,000. J. W. Bartlett, President; A. L. Bartlett, Secretary. Furnish light and 
power: occupy three stone buildings on Race Street; employ five hands; annual 
pay-roll, $8,800. 

Forest City Electric Light and Power Company. Organized 1883. 
Capital, $80,000. E. L. Woodruff, President ; M. A. Beal, Secretary. Located on 
water power. Furnish light and power: employ eighteen men, with an annual pay- 
roll of $7,200. 

American Gas Company. This corporation controls the gas works in a 
dozen different cities, and secured the Rockford plant in the spring of 1890. It is 
capitalized at $300,000. The officers are George G. Ramsdell, Yincennes, Ind., 
President; C. V. Grant, Philadelphia, Secretary: H. S. Whipple, local manager ; 
John M. Kennedy, superintendent. The company manufacture 35,000,000 feet of 
gas per annum, which is sold at $1.40 to $1.80 per thousand. Last year the com- 
pany expended $60,000 in laying new mains. They have a total of forty-five miles 
of mains and supply 550 street lamps. They employ an average of twenty-five men 
&t the works. The value of the gas manufactured is $60,000 per annum, and the 
pay-roll last year reached $si5,000. The gas works was in the hands of the Butter- 
worth family for more than thirty years prior to its acquirement by the present 

Tl\e Roc^ford Press. 

'S energetic and metropolitan press has been a leading agent in 
presenting the story of her marvelous growth and in bringing capital and 
labor within her limits. There are no newspapers in the state, outside of 
Chicago, that manifest more enterprise or present a more attractive 
appearance than do the papers? of the Forest City. They are all clean cut, 
bright and ably edited, presenting not only the news of the vicinity but the doings 
of the world as well. There are four English dailies, a Swedish weekly, a German 
weekly and temperance and religious weeklies as well. There is also the usual 
complement of social and education publications and two excellent trade journals. 
THE REGISTER- GAZETTE is a coalition of the two pioneer newspapers, and is 
issued every afternoon. They publish six bright pages, and the editorial columns 
are devoted to the welfare of the republican cause. Mr. Edgar E. Bartlett is the 
Secretary of the company and the business head. Mr. W. L. Eaton is the President 
and Managing Editor. Mr. E. M. Botsford conducts the city department and has 
Messrs. Alex. McCleneghan and F. E. Sterling on bis staff. The daily and weekly 
issues enjoy a large circulation throughout northern Illinois. 

THE MORNING STAR is as bright as its name indicates. It is found at the 
breakfast table every morning but Monday, and is a handsome eight page paper. 
It is democratic in politics and the editorial chair is ably held down by Mr. J. 
Stanley Browne. The business department is controlled by Harry M. Johnson. 
The city department is looked after^by Ralph B. Johnson and Messrs. Frank Edmi- 
son, R. C. Chapman and W. C. Johnson are also on the staff. 

THE ROCKFOKD REPUBLICAN is a newcomer in the field and a lively one. They 
have two issues each day morning and afternoon. Each is a large folio in form. 
The managing editor is Mr. Howard O. Hilton. The business affairs are looked 
After by Mr. Will J. Johnson. C. D. Allyn is city editor of the evening issue, and 


Frank Moran of the morning. The staff also includes Frank Sapp, late of Ottawa 

THE POSTEN is a lively and well-conducted Swedish weekly published and 
edited by Mr. C. Ebbisen, with J. A. Alden as business manager. 

THE GERMANIA is a German publication, issued once a week. John Pingel is 
publisher, and Rev. Prof. G. J. Kannmacher is editor. 

TRADE JOURNALS, largely devoted to the furniture interests are also issued by 
A. F. Judd & Co., and the Forest City Publishing Company. There are numerous 
religious and class publications issued besides those names, so that it may be seen 
that the education of the community through the medium of the press is well 
attended to, and there is "no one thing lacking." 


The Republican Company. (Rep.) Morning and Evening edition Capital, 
$10,000: H. H. Robinson, President; Will J. Johnson, Secretary; H. O. Hilton. 
Managing Editor. Organized April 1890. Employs twenty-seven hands, with an 
annual pay-roll of $18,000. R. S. Morgan has charge of the job department. 

Register-Gazette Company. (Rep.) Evening edition. Capital, $36,000. 
Win. L. Eaton, President; Edgar E. Bartlett, Secretary and Treasurer. Consolida- 
ted Feb. 1, 1891. Employs twenty-three hands, with an annual pay-roll of $18,000. 

Rockford Star Printing Company. (Dem.) Morning edition. Capi- 
tal. $10,000. John D. Waterman, President: H. M. Johnson, Secretary -"and Treas- 
urer; J. Stanley Browne, Managing Editor. Organized since March 20, 1888. Em- 
ploys twenty-five hands ; annual pay-roll, $15,000. 

The Rocklord Publishing Company. Publishers and Jobbers of 
Books and Agents' Novelties; located at 423 East State Street; organized in 1885, 
with a capital stock of $15,000; Wm. A. Giffen, President; Jas. H. Giffen, Secretary 
and Treasurer. They employ one hundred people; annual pay-roll $52,500: amount 
of business done in 1890, $125,000. 

'he Posten. (Swedish.) Weekly edition. L. M. Noling, President; J. A. 
Alden, Secretary; C. Ebbisen, Editor-in-chief: employs ten hands, with an annual 
pay-roll of $5,000. 

Chandler Bros. Dealers in books. Do an annual business of $100,000. 
Employ fifty hands, with an annual pay-roll of 533,000. 

F. A. Freeman. Engraver on wood. This gentleman is located over 302 
West State street, and has a capital of $2,500 invested in his business, and estimates 
his annual out put at $5,000; gives employment to four hands, with an annual pay- 
roll of $3,600. 

Rockford Engraving Company. Capital invested, $1,000. Do an 
annual business of $6,000; employs five hands: amount of pay-roll, $4, 000. 

A. F. Judd &; Company. Job printing, 115 and 117 North Madison. Capi- 
tal, $10,000. A. F. Judd and G. W. Sherer constitute the firm. Do an annual busi- 
ness of $12,000; employ ten bands; annual pay-roll, $5,000. 

Forest City Publishing Company. Printing and book bindery, 124 West 
State street. Established 1866, incorporated 1891 ; capital, $20,000. Abraham E. 
Smith, Presidentzand Manager; A. Philip Smith, Vice-President; H. J. Eaton, 
Secretary. Employs fifty five hands, with annual pay-roll $20,000. Theo. W. Clark 
has charge of the job'room and Alex. Moncrieff foreman of press room. 


Wt|at Roc^ford Maizes. 

UK fair city of Rockford is famous the round world over for her diversi- 
fied manufactures, and hence no depression in trades can shake her from 
her foundation. Although furniture is her leading product every factory 
engaged in its manufacture might close its doors, and still the city could 
go ahead with progressive strides, and the whistles of her hundreds of other indus- 
trial enterprises sound with the same clearness as before. Wood, iron, steel, 
leather, wool, paper, and every other conceivable material pours into the city day 
by day to contribute to the mighty aggregate of finished goods that go forth to 
every land on the habitable globe. 

Some idea of the extent of these manufactures may be formed from the follow- 
ing partial list of ai tides manufactured in the city of Rockford: 

Axe handles, 

Artificial stone, 

Air brushes, 


Agricult'l implem'ts, 

Axle grease, 


Building paper, 

Brass goods, 








Bed springs, 

Bath tubs, 



Broom holders, 



Baker's eye-salve, 

Baking powder, 


Bank fixtures, 

Beach curling fluid, 

Butter color, 


Blank books, 

Feed grinders, 
Gate hinges, 

Gavanized iron, 

Grain drills, 
Gas stoves. 
Gasoline stoves, 
Graham flour, 
Ginger ale, 
Hand carts. 
Horse shoes, 
Hanging baskets, 
Hat racks, 
Hose nozzles, 
Harness oil, 
Hose reel, 
Hitching posts, 
Horse powers, 
Hay presses, 
Hay tedders, 
Horse muzzles, 
Harness soap, 


Road carts, 

Rocking chairs, 


Reversible broilers, 


Road scrapers, 

Rubber stamps, 

Rye flour, 








Steam boilers, 


Steam fittings, 

Steam pumps, 







Stair railings, 

Steam heaters, 


Shirt boards, 

Screen doors, 

Silver-plated ware, 

L, ^^,. 



Barbed wire, 

Bedroom suites, 
Band saws, 
Brass pumps, 
Buckwheat flour, 

Bread toasters, 
Cotton batting, 
Cotton yarn, 
Clothes reels, 

Check rowers, 
Corn planters, 
Corn meal, 
Carpet stretchers, 

Canned goods, 

Corn shellers, 
Cough drops, 
Circular saws, 

Hose supporters, 




Iron pumps, 


Ironing tables, 

Side boards, 


Steam cocks, 

Ironworking machn'y, 

Spring hinges, 

Iron cutters, 


Ice cream, 


Jig saws, 


Japaned ware, 


Jointed hanging hooks, 

Swill carriers, 


Straw board, 


Spring beds, 



Knitting machinery, 

Shoe blacking, 

Knit underwear, 

Stove polish, 

Knit jackets, 

Sewer pipe, 





Lath fencing, 

Surgical instruments, 

Leather dashers, 






Log screws, 

Snow shovels, 



Lawn settees, 

Stall guards, 

Liquid stove polish, 

Sewing machines, 

Lard oil 

Sorghum machinery, 

.Lamp posts, 

Silver polish, 



Lemon squeezers, 

Steam engines, 

Ladies 1 underwear, 

Toilet soaps. 

Lubricating oil, 


Leather axle washers, 

Tank heaters, 







Mouse traps, 


Malleable iron, 

Teapot stands, 

Machine oil, 

Time locks, 


Tire shrinkers, 



Mop handles, 


Mill supplies. 


Milling machines, 



Tubular well pumps, 







Universal syphon, 


Nickel plated ware. 

Upholstered goods, 

Concrete walks, 

Nudavene flakes. 


Carriage top dressing, 




Nickel polish. 



Oat meal, 

Vitrified bricks, 

Dry plates, 

Oil cans, 


Devore's indest'bl awl. 

Oil burners. 


Door frames, 

Office fixtures, 

Watch cases, 



Watch keys, 

Dog powers, 





Wind mills, 

Dressed lumber, 


Water wheels, 




Electric motors. 

Post hole diggers, 


Electric appliances. 

Picture frames, 

Washing machines, 


Pipe holders, 



Pasteboard boxes, 



Pumping jacks, 



Pump cylinders, 

Well drills, 

Egg beaters, 


Wire fencing, 


Pencil sharpeners, 

Wire cloth, 

Folding beds, 


Wire sisrns, 



Wire nails, 


Parlor suites, 

Wire novelties, 

Foot power, 

Potato mashers, 

Wrapping paper, 



Wrought iron ware, 



Woolen goods, 

Fanning mills. 

Patent medicines, 

Water casks, 

Flour sifters, 


Wood worki'g niach'y, 



Willow ware, 

Feed mills, 

Prison guards, 

Wooden ware, 

Fly nets, 


Wind engines, 

Fire clay, 


Water pipe, 

Flower stands. 

Potato diggers, 

Water tanks, 

Foot rests, 


Wash tubs, 

Force pumps, 

Pocket matches, 

Woolen yarn, 

Feed cookers, 


Wood jacket cans, 



Wood filler, 

Fly paper, 


Wood cuts. 

Fur garments, 



fls a Business Center. 

CITY situated as Rockford is has many advantages as a commercial center. 
Of course we are too close to Chicago to be a large jobbing center, but on 
the other hand our proximity to the metropolis of the west gives us low 
freight rates and good connections with the entire country. We have a 
number of jobbing houses doing a good business, and more are contemplated. But 
it is as a manufacturing center on which Rockford's fame mainly rests. 

If, however, not a factory had ever been started in the city, still the Forest City 
would have been a thriving place, merely as a country trading point. In the center 
of a county of the richest farming lands in the world; whose farms are owned by a 
prosperous people ; mostly clear of mortgages-, well stocked, with neat and even 
elegant houses and spacious barns ; a county which never knew a cyclone, a hurri- 
cane, or a blight, and seldom a drought, the farming trade enjoyed by our retail 
merchants is simply enormous. The growth of the city to its present size where 
it overshadows all cities within a long distance around, enables the merchants to 
carry immense stocks, and draws trade from a large radius. The retail trade of 
Rockford, both city and country, would surprise eastern cities of five times its size. 
There are between five and six hundred retail stores in the city, including some 
mammoth concerns, using entire three and four story blocks, and including as well 
a great many smaller establishments. It speaks volumes for their prosperity to 
say that there has been but three failures in the city during the past year, and the 
aggregate amount involved in all three was less than $7,000. 

The city has eight banks, six of which are national, one state and one private. 
The banking business has reached such proportions that a clearing house must 
eoon be established. The business men have a Business Men's Association and 
a Commtrcial Club, and there will be a Board of Trade established presently. 

As a commercial center Rockford is right in line, and within the next two or 
three years will push forward as she never has before. 

Temperance Headquarters, 

|VIONG the many things which are worthy of especial" notice is our local 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, who are the happy possessors of 
a very fine building, which is centrally located at the west end of the city 
bridge. A lunch and coffee room is conducted by the ladies, which is in 
charge of a competent matron. The organization is a national one. The local or- 
ganization is a most excellent one, and is accomplishing very praiseworthy results. 
The officers are: President, Mrs. T. G. Backus: Vice-Presideut-at-large, Mrs. 
Rev. W. A. Phillips; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Margaret Skiff; Corresponding 
Secretary, Mrs. P. R. Wood; Treasurer, Miss Julia L. Worthington. Regular 
meetings are held every Thursday afternoon and on Sunday at 3 o'clock. 

Our Tt\espiar( Tenqple. 

OVERS of dramatic and operatic amusements are well cared for in the Forest 
City. The Rockford Opera House is a Jarge, handsome brick structure, on 
North Wyman Street, costing, with recent improvements, 150,000, and is ele- 
gantly fitted up and well supplied with all modern convenience, scenery and stage 
settings. Its seating capacity is fifteen hundred. The management is fully 
awake to the needs of the public, and presents the amusement-loving people with 'a 
spendid list of attractions, such as the Daly, Madison Square, and Lyceum com- 
panies; Modjeska, Janauschek, Booth, Kean, Nat Goodwin, Sol Smith Russell, and 
Bostoniaus. The house is under the [personal management of C. C. Jones, who is 
assisted by Maurice B. Field. 

Tt|e City Hospital, 

institution in the city covers a wider field of usefulness; none does so 
much to alleviate human suffering; nor so much real, necessary and unos- 
tentatious good, as the Rockford City Hospital. It is under the owner- 
ship and control of the Rockford Hospital Association, which consists of 
2G2 individuals who contributed toward the establishment of the institution. This 
association was organized in the year 1883, and was due largely to the efforts of W. 
A. Talcott, Dr. W. H. Fitch, and a number of other people who had become cogni- 
zant of the great need of a place to care for the victims of accidents, the sick and 
afflicted. The matter was agitated during the year, and in December the agitation 
crystalized into action. The association was formed and incorporated. A valua- 
ble piece of property centrally located on the corner of South Court and Chestnut 
Streets was purchased. There was a large brick house on the lot and this was fit- 
ted up for use, nearly everything necessary being donated. Judge Wm. Brown 
was elected as President of the association and Mrs. S. B. Wilkins, Vice President, 
for the first year, and Wm. A. Talcott was made Secretary and Treasurer, which 
position he has since held. 

Mrs. M. J. Smith was selected for matron, and still holds that important post. 
It was an exceedingly wise choice. "Aunt Jane," as she is known all over the city, 
is a born nurse, and under her administration the utmost good bus been accom- 
plished with the means at hand. 

In 1887 efforts began to be made for a larger building, especially for the use of 
the hospital. This was erected during the winter and dedicated in March, 1888. It 
is a splendid three-story brick edifice, facing on Chestnut Street, costing 815,000. 
It accommodates thirty patients and is supplied with every convenience. The old 
hospital building stands just east of it, is connected by a hall and is used by the 
matron and nurses as living rooms. 

Shortly after it was erected, Horatio Stone, who has ever been an enthusiastic 
supporter of the institution, and who is now president of the association, donated 
an elevator costing $1,500. Anew operating room has just been completed on the west 
side of the main building, the old one having been found to be too small. This new 

addition is built by Mrs. Ralph Emerson in memory of her son, Ralph Emerson, Jr. 

The hospital is always as full as the management will allow. Daily, almost, the 
patrol wagon brings some poor fellow, mangled by an accident, to the door. Be- 
sides this, cases of sickness are cared for as soon as possible, When the 
patients are able, they are expected to pay, but when they cannot, they receive the 
same care. 

Necessarily, running an institution on such a plan, it cannot be nearly self- 
supporting, and the hospital depends upon voluntary subscriptions and annual 
collections which are taken up in the various city churches. Funds are constantly 
lacking to do the work required. If some one would leave a bequest in such a 
way that a regular income could be assured, the effectiveness of the hospital would 
be greatly increased. 

The present officers of the association are: Horatio Stone, President; Mrs. 
Jane G. Wilkins, Vice-President; W. A. Talcott, Secretary and Treasurer. 

Tt\e Public Library. 

IS an important element in giving to the city its old world aroma of culture its 
public library is entitled to important consideration. Books, if well chosen, 
are the best and most considerate of companions, and the records of the 
library indicate that in Rockford the creations of master miuds go alike into man- 
sion and cottage. The library was first opened in 1873, and has grown to extensive 
proportions. There are now twenty thousand well-chosen volumes on its shelves 
and new books are added almost as fast as they come from the press. The library 
occupies commodious quarters over the postofflce, and a large public reading room, 
supplied with the leading newspapers and magazines, is a valuable auxilliary. That 
these advantages are offered to the public evenings and Sundays is an evidence of 
the liberal educational spirit of the hour. The number of those entitled to draw 
books from the library is over ten thousand. Mr. W. Rowland is the efficient libra- 
rian in charge; Miss Lizzie Williamson, assistant. 

Social Pleasures ar)d Society. 

ROB ABLY many of our friends in the eastern states feel somewhat sur- 
prised at the many social advantages that may be enjoyed throughout this 
section of the country, but nowhere are these social features in any degree 
superior to those at Rockford. While the busy hum of machinery is 
beard on every side of the "gem of Illinois," 'yet human desire for friendly com- 
minglings is as apparent here as in the most fashionable of eastern cities, and amid 
the noise and bustle of a booming city the efforts to drive off dull care for a short 
season are as assiduously pursued as the most fastidious might desire. Every 
church congregation has its social and literary circle, and the secret and benevo- 
lent societies have their regular "blow outs." Then there are a great many social 
clubs of various kinds, which hold meetings weekly, and there are progressive 
cinch and euchre clubs, married people's, card clubs, aud all kinds of clubs organ- 
ized by various cliques for informal amusements. 

RocKford Y. M, C, R. 

|NE of the finest buildings of its kind in the country, is the Young Men's 
Christian Association, located at the corner of North Madison and East 
State streets. The edifice is a very handsome one costing $50,000, and is a 
monument of the generous and practical interest of nearly eight hundred contribu- 
tors: persons who believe in and desire to perpetuate this noble institution, which 
has for its object the spiritual, intellectual upbuilding and uplifting of young men. 
Meetings are held at various times during the week, and Sunday afternoon from 4 
to 5 o'clock, Young Men's Gospel Meetings are held, which are largely attended. 
The gymnasium is fully equipped with bars, rings, ladders, &c., and is under the 
personal charge of General Secretary E. M. Aiken. It is a grand good thing, and 
many a young man finds a helping hand extended to him in his need. The present 
officers are. S. F. Weyburn, President; E. M. Aiken, General Secretary; H. T. Han- 
*<en, Assistant Secretary. 

R City of Firie 

person visits Rockford without being impressed with the beauty and 
comfort of her homes. Rockford people are "here to stay" as the expres- 
sion goes, and they build themselves homes where it is a pleasure to reside, 
Tiot simply a place to stay for a season. One feature which is especially noteworthy 
and which strikes visitors from other factory cities as peculiarly strange, is that the 
people generally, in fact universally, own their own homes. The laborers and fac- 
tory people, as well as the business men, manufacturers, professional men and cap- 
italists, own their own residences, and very tasty, and convenient ones, too. Thou- 
sands of pretty homes, every one of which is the castle of some man, well kept, 
and ^urrounded by a hundred evidences of the care which a man devotes to his own, 
tells a story of prosperity and happiness more eloquent than words can paint. 

Rockford has but few grand castles. Few of her homes, even where wealth 
and magnificence reside, have that exterior of gorgeous splendor which are visible 
in some places. While -there are many fine houses, it is in the grounds surround- 
ing them which are most striking for beauty. Nowhere in the West is there a city 
where the grounds will compare with those of Rockford. The homes set back 
among the groves, and well kept lawns are a constant picture to the eye. 

Rockford is noted for her numberless fine residences belonging to what is called 
the middle class: people who do not live on their means, but are engaged in active 
business. There are hundreds of these, fashioned in novel styles of architecture 
and not crowded into undue proximity to one another. These homes are really ele- 
gant in their architecture and appointments, and give the city a most prosperous 
and distinguished appearance. Then the houses of the mechanics. It is a constant 

wonder to the visitor at Rockford to observe the residences owned and occupied by 
our mechanics and laboring people. All through the Swedish district particularly, 
the houses are models of beauty and comfort. They are prettily designed, well 
built, always two stories high and often two and a half and what is better, they are 
owned and generally paid for by the people who occupy them. The grounds are 
nicely kept and the people take pride in beautifying and improving the looks of 
the city and of their own places. 

Shade trees are abundant, so much so that the city has gained the appellation 
'The Forest City." The most elegant street is North Main street, which is lined 
on either side by the houses of Rockford's wealthiest people. On the east side of 
the street the lots run clear to the river. These river bank lots are very beautiful, 
and as there are no fences for nearly the entire distance of the fine residence dis- 
trict over a mile it has the appearance of an elegant park. 

On the East Side East State street is the most elegant thoroughfare. All along 
up the hill the street is lined with handsome grounds and fine houses. South 
Third street also contains some very handsome residences. 

One distinguishing feature of Rockford houses is that most of them are built of 
wood. There are comparatively few brick residences. Even where a large amount 
of money is put into the building, they are built of wood. There are a few notable 
exceptions, but as a class Rockford houses are built of wood. 

The interiors of Rockford houses are even rmore pleasing than their exteriors. 
Comfortably and in many cases elegantly furnished they are really "homes," not 
simply places to stay. It is Rockford's homes and the home-life of her people 
which makes the Forest City such a delightful place to live in and draws peonle so 
easily to her borders. 

RocKford Driving Clilb. 

Xjx HE park consists of ninety acres of land in the north end of the city immedi- 
XX ately on the line of the C. M. & St. P. railroad, the driving park being situated 
just west of the track. This park is one of the most thoroughly equipped 
in the country, containing all the modern improvements for taking care of the trot- 
ting stock, there being 150 excellently constructed stalls. The grand stand is a com- 
modious and artistic affair with a seating capacity of 2500, and is provided with com- 
fortable chairs for the accommodation of its patrons. The track is kite shaped. This 
track has proved a record-breaker, as every animal that has won a race on the track 
has lowered his record in order to do so. The park is most delightfully situated, 
commanding the most charming view of nature's diversified beauties, in which no- 
other country on the globe is more prolific than is the country surrounding the city 
of Rockford, for in every direction one may look new scenes are presented to the 
vision, which is limited only by the capacity of the eye. The Rockford Driving 
Club was licensed to organize in 1889. The officers are, Frank G. Smith, President; 
H. H. Palmer, Vice-President; C. C. Jones, Secretary, and Geo. L. Woodruff, 
Treasurer. There are two meetings a year, held one in June and the other in 

Tt]e Lowell of tt]e West. 

fT has not taken half a century to demonstrate that Rockford is the industrial 
city of the Mississippi Valley. Two decades ago the vastness of her manu- 
factures gave to her the sobriquet of the "Lowell of the West," and this 
clings to her still, although it is not worn with as much pride as in other 
days, for Rockford, mind you, is passing this namesake of hers, and it may soon be 
that Lowell will feel a dignified desire to be known as the Rockford of the East. 
The agricultural implement industry was one of the first to seek a home in Rock- 
ford and bear her name abroad. Next came the era of furniture factories, and now 
there is but one city in the land that turns out more furniture than she. There are 
twenty factories in this line alone. There are cotton, woolen, paper and knitting 
mills, and they are all spreading out and increasing. Two of the largest watch 
factories in the country are now located here, and there is also a watch case factory 
and a huge silver plating concern. From other cities a dozen industries have 
brought their plants to Rockford, but, better still, her own citizens have put their 
hands in th.eir purses and furnished the capital for a large majority of her factories, 
And are to-day profitably operating them. It is more especially within the last two 
years that the eyes of the outside world were drawn to this manufacturing center. 
The advent of another trunk line of railroad and the establishment of a number of 
important industries, created considerable interest, and it was found that here was 
a city of marvelous growth without any brass band attachment. Manufacturers 
learned that a town of 150 paying industries, with all the prestige that goes with 
that statement would open its doors to them: a city possessing all natural and com- 
mercial advantages, and some other facilities that no other place could boast of. 
Since this discovery has become more generally advertised this little metropolis 
has made marvelous strides. The census report, showing that the per cent, of 
gain in a decade led almost the entire state, still further added to her fame, until 
there is not a citizen within her borders, nor a drummer on the road but that claims 
that Rockford will be the second city in the state within ten years. She is destined 
to claim at least one hundred thousand inhabitants, and with the diversity of her 
industries and her independence from tributary agriculture, it is difficult to con- 
ceive a combination of circumstances that could give her a black eye. She is a 
city not alone for to-day but for all time. When the last trumpet shall sound there 
will be at least one hundred thousand Rockfordites ready to don their crowns and 
take their places in the celestial choir. The smoke of her factory chimneys paints 
her story on the sky. It is a tale of energy, industry and progress. She does not 
"boom" she quick-steps with the sturdy stride of an army with banners. She 
welcomes legitimate industry and furnishes liberal aid, but she is careful of her 
reputation, and wants no unprofitable "snap" concerns looking for a Donus. All 
the factories that have more recently come within the limits of Rockford have been 
fully investigated and found profitable. Upon that finding the city has opened its 
purse, subscribed liberally to stock, and donated buildings and sites. This is still 
her program and pronunciamento. Any further facts regarding the city that may 
be desired will be cheerfully imparted by the Business Mens' Association, the Real 
Estate Exchange, the Commercial Club, or the firm or individual from whom this 
little work came. 





things more clearly indicate the progressive spirit that obtains in Rock 
ford more substantially than does the mention of the municipal operations, 
which were so cheerfully undertaken and satisfactorily consummated dur- 
ing the year 1890. Two new bridges were built across Rock River, and one moved 
to another site, making six in all; a dozen bridges were built over Kent's and 
Keith's Creek, and other bridges were repaired, the whole cost of the operations in 
this department exceeding $122,030. The street paving included nearly two miles 
of cedar blocks, and cost upwards of $69,000. Five miles were added to the sewer 
system at an expense exceeding $40,000. The water mains were extended and a 
new engine put in, at a cost of $40,000. A handsome school house was erected at an 
outlay of nearly $25,00 ). These are but samples of what the municipality is doing 
for itself, and all with but a trifling fraction added to the general tax levy. This year 
the sewer system will be extended to a total of twenty miles of mains; two miles Of 
brick pavement and one of cedar block will be laid; the police and fire departments 
will be enlarged, and many other municipal improvements made, the whole cost- 
ing at least $200,000, and all with a slight reduction from the general tax of the 
previous year. The city government has always been clean and business-like. To 
the administration of Mayor John H. Sherratc and his coadjutors the community 
owes much, and it is felt that the present mayor and council will retain the mantle 
of progress which fell upon their shoulders. The municipal management is in 
the following hands: 








\ Second Ward E.W. BROWN, A. J. ANDERSON. 
Aldermen \ Fourth Ward WILLIS M. KIMBALL, L. A. WEYBURN. 
| Fifth Ward O. P. TRAHERN, W. L. HARBISON. 
| Sixth Ward G. A. SALSTROM, W. D. CLARK. 
(.Seventh Ward THOS. W. COLE, D. G. SPAULDINO. 

Valuable Paries. 

UT beyond the confines of the beautiful Forest City, to the north, and situ- 
ated on the banks of the placid Rock River, Harlem Park, the new crea* 
tion of the enterprising spirit which animates all Rockford, offers to the 
wearied in body and burdened in mind relaxation, recreation and rest. 
Rich in rustic beauties and general attractions, it affords a pleasant refuge and 
retreat from the cares of every day life and business, refreshing the physical and 



mental faculties, and rendering to enervated nature greater and more beneficial aid 
than potions and lotions from the shelves of pharmacies, or the sparkling waters 
from the fountain of universal youth. 

A new element of restorative power, a tonic to the dispirited, a real and vital 
izing force to instill life and activity into frames where torpor and languidity 
reigns, presents itself in the Switchback Railway, a new and popular feature of 
amusement which is at present attracting the attention and awakening the interest 
of thousands. Seated in its easy car for a rapid flight over its hills and wondrous 
vales, one forgets everything but the fact that time, space, and every surrounding 
object are being annihilated by the rush of its whirring wheels, and remembers 
that, only when the few seconds sufficing for the journey have passed into infinity. 
The genius of its inventor has brought joy and pleasure to youth and new experi- 
ences to age which will be remembered when the invention has passed into innocu- 
ous desuetude. 

Other factors for the promotion of pleasure are the band concerts wnich occur 
twice a week in the elaborate band stand and pavillion erected for the promotion of 
the pleasure of the music loving visitors. Twelve arc lights shed their effulgence 
over the scene on the evenings devoted to the enjoyment of this most elevating art, 
and render Luna an unnecessary expense to the solar lighting system. Every 
thing that nature has left undone in the creation of a park of wondrous beauty has 
been undertaken by mortal hands, and success has crowned every effort to render 
its attractiveness more attractive. The cool, refreshing shades of the park are 
meccas much sought by all classes of people. The rich, the poor, the high, the low, 
all meet on an equal footing beneath its waving foliage and on its emerald carpet. 
Rank, station, all are forgotten in the fact that nature is the common mother of all, 
and each and every one seeks pleasure in those sports in which their estimate of 
real enjoyment finds satisfaction. 

Beautiful Harlem Park is but ten minutes ride from the business centers on the 
electric railway, and is accessible by boat and carriage. A dock gives landing to 
passengers from the steamers, and a beautiful driveway leads along the shore of 
the river to the park confines. It is an attraction which lends to the Forest City 
another grace, and is a fount of exquisite pleasure to the lovers of nature as well 
us tho-f who seek its limits from more sordid and grosser motives: and a cordial 
welcome is extended to the visitor by those who have the management of the 
grounds. With lovely scenery to charm the eye and delight the mind, with melo- 
dious harmonies to please the tuneful ear, and its host of amusements to entertain, 
Harlem Park is destined to become one of the most popular and much frequented 
resorts within an extended radius. Mr. Chas. Brumbaugh, the genial superintend- 
ent, and Mr. John Camlin, the efficient and courteous secretary, are developing 
new and richer resources of pleasure, and the future will open the door to wider 
possibilities and the achievement of greater results. 

The second park that lies without the city's walls and is still easily accessible, 
is the West End Recreation Park, used for the grounds of the Rockford league base 
ball club. The park lies in the famous West End addition, on the Hue of the new 
ek-ctric railway, whose handsome olive green cars are the cynosure of all eyes. 
The grounds are neatly fenced and contain a large ampitheatre capable of seating 
tin- enthusiastic hundreds of admirers of the national game that the Forest City 
contains. The park is to be further improved and developed, and near by the 
lofty tower of the West End observatory will be reared. The whole is within a few 
minutes ride of the city's heart. 




Hotels of RocKford. 

Forest City has a number of excellent houses where the traveler may 
find rest and refreshment, and there are more coming. The New Holland 
and The Wilson are both operated by Irve Leonard, and are the leading 
hotels of the town, receiving nearly all the commercial patronage. The Holland 
is a handsome four story building, occupying half a square, and contains eighty 
well furnished rooms. The Wilson, which was formerly known as The Leonard, 
has fifty rooms, and is located on West State Street. The Hotel Noonan is a very 
comfortable and popular house containing twenty-five handsome rooms. The 
Chick House is located diagonally across from The Holland and has some forty 
rooms. It is well patronized. The Commercial, American and Forest City Houses 
are of a cheaper grade. 

Within a few weeks from the date of issuance of this book ground will be bro- 
ken for a magnificent hotel to be located on South Main street, one block South of 
The Holland. It will have six floors and will cover half a block. It will be called 
The Nelson, and will contain two hundred rooms. The cost, including furnishing 
and decoration will be $225,000. and a well-known Chicago hotel man will be lessee. 

Plans are also in view for a large hotel and opera house on the East Side, to 
cost $150,000. The opera house feature will probably materialize at any rate. 

RocKford's Future. 

T needs no pen of seer or prophet to cast the horoscope of the Forest City. 
When a man stands at the threshold of maturity, and is sober, honest, 
healthy, industrious, careful and rich, it needs no necromancer's art to say 
what he will be ten or twenty years hence. The world would be grievous- 
ly disappointed did he not prove healthier, wealthier, and wiser. So with Rock- 
ford. A city standing in so promising a position as she fills to-day cannot well help 
making a lofty record among the municipalities of the world, as the years develop. 
There is no pent-up Utica in Winnebago County, Illinois. A city set upon a hill 
cannot be hid. Millions of dollars are invested within her limits every year. All 
ventures are legitimate. There is no bubble to burst; no boom to prick; no mush- 
room to grow and shrivel. Her own citizens have unbounded faith in her future. 
They do n<5t talk of moving away. Few of them invest surplus money in Southern 
pine or Kansas mortgages. They put their good old stuff in Rockford and watch it 
grow in volume as the months go by. They do not take chances in thus disposing 
of their funds. Real estate is held comparatively cheap, and every house erected 
finds a buyer or tenant anxiously awaiting the key. There is an assured profit 
on every investment in home building, and so local capital remains local capital, 
instead of seeking some doubtful speculation in western wilds, chimerical corpora 
tions or vapor baths. It is needless to deduce Rockford's future from this. It is a 
known quantity. Come and take a hand in it if you will. 





Wt]at RocKford Wants. 

N every work of this character, every city write-up, every boom edition, you 
will find a chapter or article describing the city's needs. It is different here. 
Rockford asks not the earthly praise or prayer of any one. She has lots of 
bridges, railroads, paved streets, city lights, water, gas and street cars, and her citi- 
zens have all the pie and ice cream they can eat. Almost everything that is turned 
out by the manufactories of the land is the product of some one of her hundreds of 
industries. She is handsomely lodged, well fed and neatly dressed. There is ab- 
solutely nothing that she needs to insure her happiness or permanence. And yet, as 
in every prosperous household, the aroma of hospitality is abroad. She welcomes 
all good and honorable citizens. The visiting manufacturer finds greeting and co- 
operation ; the statesman, the merchant and the commercial tourist are alike cor- 
dially received; even the tramp may stay out of jail so long as he is decently 
behaved. In fact Rockford welcomes the universe. She may not need you but 
she can at least find time to take off her working apron and assure you that she is 
glad you are here. That is the kind of a hair-pin Rockford is. 

Yotirig Mer} to tt]e Froryt 

the average visitor to Rockford an astonishing circumstance is the leader- 
ship which the young men have attained. This youthful blood has had much 
to do with the weal of the municipality, and seems to course with energy 
through its every vein. The young men are called "the city builders," and 
there is a coterie of half a hundred of them who have been foremost in nearly all 
the recent enterprises that have added to the city's wealth and importance. They 
are tireless workers, but poor hoarders, for every dollar of profit gained in one ven- 
ture is at once embarked in some new enterprise. They take chances, too, but 
governing it all is that ability for financial forecast that becomes a trait of Ameri- 
can character when thrown into active business. It is the young man who is now 
called higher by his fellows. He fills the mayor's chair, and the council is drawn 
from his ranks. Even the halls of congress or the governor's mansion are not de- 
nied him. In Rockford he rules the roost. Development has been such that beards 
are no longer necessary to inspire confidence, and one who 1s on the sunny side of 
thirty may be president of a bank or corporation, or have manifold interests in his 
keeping. The young man with the small capital has been heard from. He is add- 
ing to his store, and his active business methods inspire the good will of his associ- 
ates. He is soon at the front. There are men in Rockford who have not yet com- 
menced to think of celebrating their thirty fifth birthday who are in one way or 
another connected with all the way from a dozen to twenty different enterprises 
and find time to carry a knowledge of them all. It is small wonder then that the 
young man commands so strong a regard in .the public mind. Great is the City 
Builder, and the welfare of Rockford is his "profit." 



Tale of Tfoto Years. 

^ tae rolling time of two "great suns" the advance of Rockford has 
challenged the admiration of the country. Two years have added fifty 
per cent, to her population, and have started twenty-seven new factories 
within her borders. A dozen other industries have each doubled their capacity, 
and others still have greatly increased their business. Nearly one thousand homes 
have been built, and the character of the city's business blocks has entirely changed. 
Over $8,000,000 have been invested in manufacturing, building or financial enter- 
prises, and it is apparently but a start. A $225,000 hotel, a $150,000 office building, a 
$200,000 watch factory, are but examples of ventures to which present efforts are 
being turned, and there are still greater things in a neophytic condition. The two 
years just passed have but spurred the community on to greater efforts. The mil- 
lions of brick that have been laid are but a tithe of those that are to follow. They do 
not go to build any Chinese wall, however, but to build busy hives of industry 
and commerce, where honest labor will find a welcome and honest capital a fit 

Tt\e S^edisl) Citizens. 

foreign element of the population of the city is mainly composed of th e 
peaceful and industrious sons of Sweden, who make the best citizens 
that reach this country from other lands. Rockford owes much to them, 
and the claim that we are the industrial city of the west is made substantial 
through their efforts. They number one-third the population of the city, and 
very one is proud of it. The enterprises they control are vast in character, and 
they are also extensively interested in many ventures conducted by Americans to 
the manor born. A large insurance company, a mammoth building and loan asso- 
ciation, and two substantial banks are financial corporations controlled by them. 
The largest Swedish church and congregation in the United States is located here, 
and there are seven other churches where services are conducted in that language. 
There are 145 Swedish firms or individuals in business, and no failures among 
them. Their total investments in commercial and financial ventures exceed $8,000- 
003, and their real estate holdings will reach nearly as much more. They control 
nearly forty prominent industrial concerns, and it is to them that the community 
owes the co-operative idea of running factories, which is an effective barrier against 
strikes and labor troubles. They area modest, peaceful class of citizens, seldom 
interfering or aggressive in politics ; always industrious and frugul. Their work- 
ingmen own their homes, and they are the finest residences that any class of labor 
in the country can boast of. They are all two-story dwellings of modern construc- 
tion, and it is the rule rather than the exception that they cost over $1,500 each. 
They have built up one of the handsomest manufacturing districts in the world. 
To the stranger it is a marvel how such things can be, but the native Rockfordite 




no longer feels surprised if his Swedish friend out-does him in home building. 
They are citizens of whom any community might feel justly proud, and there are a 
number of leaders among them who are found in the front rank in every enterprise 
with which the welfare of the city is in anywise connected. Some there are'who^e 
names will be found as stockholders or directors in a score of different ventures, 
and one man at least is an officer in ten corporations. Active men of business they 
All are and it is one of the brightest jewels in Rockford's crown that so many 
dwellers within her limits are the fair-haired and pink-cheeked sons and daughters 
of Svea. 

Electricity ir\ RocKford. 

>HIS magnificent force of modern times which puts to shame all the genii of 
oriental fable has been a prime factor in the city's development. It is 
chained to various uses. Light, power, motion, in their best forms, own 
electricity as parent. The city contains an almost unrivalled system of 
electric street railway. There are two companies who have expended at least 
$200,000 in providing rapid transit to all parts of Rockford and her thriving suburbs. 
The Rockford City Railway traverses twenty-six different streets and have fourteen 
miles of track in service. They have franchises for four miles more which will be 
laid as soon as possible. They operate twenty cars at present. They reach the 
principal manufacturing and residence districts and also lead out to Harlem park 
and the grounds of the Rockford Driving Club. Their service will be enlarged and 
made perfect ere the season closes. 

The West End Street Railway passes through ten streets and avenues and 
reaches the large factory and residence additions in the west and northwest por- 
tions of the city. They also run to the Rockford base ball park and the West End 
Observatory. They have abouX six miles of track and are now running six hand- 
some cars, the line starting at the Holland House corner in the heart of the city. 
The company is also seeking a franchise to penetrate the East Side. 

There are two large companies who furnish light and power and their wires 
extend all over the city and into the additions. The incandescent light is in almost 
general use in stores and residences, and most of the large factories operate com- 
plete plants of their own. There are also a great many arc lights used in stores and 
for out-door illumination. The city is now formulating a plan whereby it will own 
its own electric lighting plant and illuminate the streets with almost noon-day splen- 

The telegraph and telephone service also show that this branch of electrical ser- 
vice is most valuable. The offices of the Western Union are open constantly, and 
their business at Rockford is very great. 

The telephone system and service in Rockford is the best in the state. There 
are five hundred subscribers, which makes the office rank next to Chicago in 
business. In the central part of the city the lines are run in cables, with one hun- 
dred wires in each. This prevents entanglements with the lines of the electric light 
and railway companies. 

The Rockford Electric Manufacturing Company, who turn out dynamos and 
all manner of electrical appliances, is also a large and thriving institution of this 





Music ir\ tl)e Forest City. 

'HILE on every side we see evidences of the rapid and steady growth of 
our city, and Rockford's industries have won for her merited recogni- 
tion in every state in the Union, yet not alone to busy manufactories, to 
successful business enterprises, nor to beauty of location is due the 
precedence which she has attained. But the energy which has made onr industries 
a success, has at the same time been used for the advancement of our educational 
institutions, and the cultivation of the fine arts, and these, united, have made Rock- 
ford the ideal city of the west. Side by side with our material advancement has 
been the onward progress of musical culture in our midst. 

The conservatory of music in connection with the Seminary is an outgrowth of 
Prof. D. N. Hood's untiring labor in the capacity of musical instructor in that insti- 
tution, a position which he has held since 1858. From this conservatory have 
graduated many young women whose musical talent has attracted more than local 
notice, and not a few of these now grace Rockford's musical circles and wield an 
influence in society such as musicians devoted to their art, alone possess. 

An outgrowth of the Seminary Conservatory is the Mendelssohn Club, an 
organization which was formed in October 1884. The original membership num- 
bered forty ladies, of whom nearly all were graduates of the Conservatory of Music 
and some of whom had continued their studies abroad. Mrs. Chandler Starr has 
been the president of the Club for seven years and to her enthusiasm is largely 
due the success of the organization, since by her executive ability and musical 
attainments she has been both an efficient guide and an inspiration. The meetings 
are held every two weeks during eight menths of the year, one-half of the member- 
ship furnishing the program for each meeting. Thus thorough and constant 
practice is required of the members and a wide range of composers studied, a 
work of the individual members which probably no musical society in the west 
has before successfully maintained. In 1888, honorary members were received into 
this society for the first time and they now number seventy ladies who are 
admitted to the meetings and annual musicales. However, the efforts of the Men- 
delssohn Club have not been for their own exclusive improvement, but for their 
annual complimentary concerts they have brought to our city some of the best 
musical talent available at the west, and thus given to hundreds of our people the 
pleasure and the culture which alone can be secured from such a source. Among 
the artists thus secured were Messrs. Liebling, Becker and Eicheim for a chamber 
concert in 1886, Mme. Fannie Bloomfield and Signorina Varesi in 1888, Mme. 
Teresa Carreno, assisted by the Mendelssohn ladies' chorus, in 1889, and in May of 
this year the Mendelssohn Quintette of Boston. Besides these artists, they also 
secured Miss Neally Stevens, of Chicago, for piano recital, Miss Amy Fay for piano 
conversation, and Mr. Frank Fisher Powers and Mrs. Gerritt Smith, vocalists. 
The society has itself given several concerts which show the good work accom- 
plished by the members, and have won for them a reputation of which we may 
justly feel proud. 

Besides the pianists of the club its membership includes many vocalists of 
merit, and from their number has sprung the Ladies' Mendelssohn Quartette, 
which is now readily conceded to have no superior in any western city. Their 





soprano, Miss Addie St. John, is spending several months in England, further cul- 
tivating her voice under the guidance of the renowned instructor, Shakespeare. 

The Weber Quartette is a company so well known to the cities throughout the 
West, that it requires no introduction, and needs no words of praise. It consists 
of Messrs. Myron Barnes, Chas. Rogers, Horace Wellington, and Henry Andrews, 
all Rockford young men. from boyhood. They have just completed a tour through 
the western states where they have received the ovation of professionals. 

The Sons of Svea have also accomplished a commendable work in our midst, in 
the training of a large chorus of Swedish young men. They number sixty voices, 
nnder the directorship of Mr. Alfred Larson. 

While too much cannot he said of these influences which have made Rockford 
audiences foremost among western cities for their appreciation of all that is high- 
est and noblest in musical composition, yet we must not ignore still other elements 
which have recently entered into the musical fabric of our city. 

Fitzgerald's Orchestra is the result of the careful selection of the best players 
our city affords, many of whom have devoted years to the study of orchestral 
music. Under their efficient and popular leader, Mr. F. A. Fitzgerald, this organi- 
zation has become an indispensible quantity in our city; It comprises twenty-two 
pieces, and they are well equipped for the choice musical works introduced by their 

The Watch Factory Band, numbering thirty-five pieces, has more than a local 
reputation. With the influx of those who have been attracted by the business out- 
look of Rockford, we have been fortunate in numbering in this host many players 
from cfties East and West, so that we now have in our band, musicians of exper- 
ience, and their work is already rivaling that of older organizations. Mr. Fitzgerald 
is also leader of this band, and himself the master of the cornet. The Royal Sewing 
Machine Company's Band, Svea Band, Seventh Street Band, and Forest City Band 
are working in the same line, and each numbers from twelve to twenty members. 
Rockford presents no spasmodic growth of the musical elements which enter now 
so vitally into her existence, but side bv side with her material progress and keeping 
pace with the educational and moral advancement has been the development of those 
principles which so certainly affect the taste and indicate the culture of a commun- 

It is not strange with all these things conspiring for the growth of our city 
that we apply the ancient proverb of Rome to our own community and claim that 
"Every road leads to Rockford." 

Public School Systerr). 

.HE educational advantages of Rockford are most excellent. The first school 
was established during the year 1889 in an old fashioned house built of 
logs on the east side of the river. In the same year another school was 
started on the west side. From this time on its citizens have taken the 
greatest interest in the public schools and other educational institutions, until now a 
diploma from the Rockford High School will admit the student to such institu- 
tions as Ann Arbor, Madison, Evanston, Beloit, and other colleges. Elsewhere 
these schools have been briefly alluded to, but they deserve a more emphatic 
.notice. The Rockford public and parochial schools dispense their inestimable 




essings throughout our beautiful city. They act as an inspiration, for the irri-- 
ressible urchin of five or six years, delights in nothing so much as throwing 
way his infantile toys, abdicating this throne of "me big Injun," and with his 
atchel and shining face, marching like the soldier he has sometimes played him- 
:lf to be, proudly to school. It is his first step to learning and manhood. The 
scellence of these schools of Rockford is surpassed nowhere, and are equalled in 
at few places. They are the pride of the people, the opportunities of the young, 
is not to be expected, therefore, that these agencies should be permitted to lan- 
uish, and they are not. No citizen, worthy of the name, begrudges the tax levied 
>r their support. The official school census of Rockford, submitted June 30, 1890, 
lowed 9,912 children between the ages of six and twenty-one. The city owns four- 
en excellent school buildings and employs eighty competent school teachers. A 
3t of the schools, cost of erection, etc., might not be out of place here. 

THE HIGH SCHOOL. This building has the most approved sanitary arrangements, 
nd all egresses open outward. It is in charge of Prof. Walter A. Edwards, a 
raduate of Knox College, assisted by a full corps of competent teachers. The 
ist of the building was about $50,000. 

THE LINCOLN SCHOOL. A stone building, three stories in height. It is heated 
r steam and has a seating capacity of 450, and cost $30,000. It is in charge of Mary 
, Spottswood as principal. 

THE ADAMS SCHOOL. The building is a three-story stone structure, and has a 
sating capacity of 450 pupils. Its original cost was $30,000. This is in charge of 
ary G. McPberson as principal. 

THE HALL SCHOOL. Is a two-story stone building, and has a seating capacity 
f 350. The cost of this building was $12,000. The school is in charge of Miss 
mma Coy as principal. 

THE KENT SCHOOL. This is located in South Rockford, and is a stone build- 
g two stories high, and cost $25,000. Prof. O. F. Barbour is principal. 

THE MARSH SCHOOL. This is a two story brick building, and accommodates 
5 pupils. Cost, $8,000, and is in charge of Rose Cassidy. 

THE KISHWAUKEE SCHOOL. Has a seating capacity of 200. The building cost 
,000, and is in charge of Matilda J. Nygren as principal. 

THE MONTAGUE SCHOOL. Is a two-story brick building, and cost $12,000. Capa- 
ty 170. Elpha S. Moffatt is principal. 

THE BLAKE SCHOOL. Cost, $6,000, and has a seating capacity of 150 pupils, 
anny Lyons is principal. 

THE HASKELL SCHOOL. Cost $10,000, and has a seating capacity of 175. Anna 
onanghy is principal. 

THE ELLIS SCHOOL. Cost $7,000, and has a seating capacity of 160. Isabella M. 
unter is principal. 

THE NELSON SCHOOL. Costing $10,000, and has a seating capacity of 175, and is 
>w in charge of Mrs. Marie \V. Rice as principal. 

THE GARRISON SCHOOL. Has a seating capacity of 150, and cost $12,000. This 
:hool is in charge of Grace K. Crumb as principal. 

THE WIGHT SCHOOL. Has just been completed at a cost of $25,000. This 
;hool is in charge of Mary C. Foote as principal. 

Besides these there is an annex in charge of Jennie McAnarney. 

Prof. P. R. Walker is general superintendent of city schools. 


RocKford Senqiriary. 

(T N all the ages of the past, from the time the morning stars first sang together 
/xj\ down to the present, there has never been a movement which had for its pur- 
pose the betterment of mankind but had its origin in woman's heart, and it 
was woman's hand that guided it to an end. There have been few move- 
ments of prominence of any kind but have had their principal chapters rendered 
more entrancing by the deeds or sayings of women. In all the names handed down 
by history, of the women rendered most famous, all are those whose minds were 
well stored with knowledge, and to-day,, as in days gone by, it is the educated 
woman who is not only most highly prized but most useful as well. 

Our excellent public schools of Rockford are worthy preparatory institutions, 
fitting our girls and boys to take their places in the world of battle, but it is to our 
higher institutions of learning that must be given the credit for the brightness 
which surrounds the names and lives of many of our people of the past and pres- 
ent. Probably there are none of the leading institutions of learning in our land 
that has given to society more bright ornaments in the way of cultured women than 
has the famous and justly famed Rockford Seminary. The Rockford Seminary is 
collegiate in character, and bears the title on account of the popularity of that 
title forty years ago, when the Seminary was founded. The location of the Semi- 
nary on high ground in East Rockford, commanding a full view of the pretty For- 
est City and the shining waters of the romantic Rock River, are such as to com- 
mend it as a health resort. The Seminary is not a denominational school, yet it is 
strictly a Christian school. Its buildings, as will be seen by engravings in another 
part of this book, are extensive brick buildings in the midst of a grove of oak and 
hickory trees, covering in all ten acres in extent. The Seminary is very popular, 
and numbers among its pupils each year students from all parts of the United 
States. One of the features which has done much to build up the popularity of the 
school with parents is the fact that the health of the pupils is carefully looked 
after. This is done by a comprehensive system of training in the gymnasium, run 
under the Sargent rules now in vogue in Harvard University. Frequent examina- 
tions are made and the health of the pupil is noted, and anything calculated to 
over-exert is forbidden. The home life of the school partakes more of the home 
than the ordinary boarding school, and is pleasant in all its features. The faculty 
of the Seminary has always been graced by the names of many of the country's 
leading educators, and to-day it is among the best in the land. Below will be 
found the Board of Trustees now in charge of this excellent school: 

Board of Trustees Prof. Joseph Emerson, D. D., President, Beloit, Wis. ; G. A. 
Sanford, Esq., Vice-President, Rockford; Thomas D. Robertson, Esq., Treasurer, 
Rockford; Wm. A. Talcott., Esq., Secretary, Rockford. 

Executive Committee Hon. Wm. Lathrop, Chairman; Sarah F. Anderson, 
Secretary; Wm A. Talcott, Esq., Mrs. Seely Perry, John Barnes, Esq., Henry H. 
Robinson, Esq. 

The officers of government and instruction are: Sarah F. Anderson, Acting 
Principal and Financial Secretary; Jessie I. Spafford, B. A., Mathematics and 
Physical Science; Lena C. Leland, M. D., Resident Physician and Teacher in Physi- 
ology; Elizabeth Eastman, B. A., Rhetoric and Composition; Phebe T. Sntliff, M. 
A., History; Elizabeth L. Herrick, French Language and Literature; Alice A. Berry, 



Y. M. C. A. BUILDINc;. 

B. A., Greek and Latin; Florence Bascom, B. S., M. A., Chemistry and Natural 
Sciences; Alice L. Hulburd, B. A., History; Julia H. Gulliver, Ph. D., 
Philosophy: Anna C. Behrens, German Language and Litera- 
ture; Lilian Jacoby, B. A., Drawing and Painting; Olive Rumsey, 
English Literature and Teacher of English: Effle Lauagan, Italian and Teacher of 
Latin; Anna H. Lathrop, B. A., Teacher of English; Elizabeth Ballard Thompson, 
B. A., Teacher of Mathematics; Edith A.Sherman, Director of the Gymnasium; 
Emma G. Lumm, Teacher of Elocution; Mrs. Sarah E. Gregory, Matron; Marion 
I. Mead, Book-keeper and Librarian 

Department of Music Prof. Daniel N. Hood. Instrumental Music; Addie L. 
St. John, Vocal Music; Sarah Burton, Vocal Music; Mary R. Wilkins, B. A., Har- 


CENTENNIAL M. E. CHURCH. South Third Steeet. Rev. J. R. Hamilton, pas- 
tor. Property cost $63,000. Church has 600 members. 

COURT STREET M. E. CHURCH. Corner Mulberry and Court Streets. Rev. W. 
A. Phillips, pastor. Rev. W. H. Haight, presiding elder Rockford district. Prop 
erty valued at $100,000. Church will seat 2/200 persons, and has a membership of 
nearly 800. 

GRACE M. E. CHURCH. Meets in Judd's Hall, West End. Rev. F. D. Sheets, 
pastor. Organized 1891 with one hundred members. 

NINTH STREET M. E. CHURCH. Building new edifice on Ninth Street, to cost 
$10,000. Rev. J. F. Wardle, pastor. Has about 100 members. 

WINNEBAGO STREET M. E CHURCH. Organized in 1864. Located in South 
Rockford. Rev. Henry Lea, pastor. Church property valued at $20,000. Has 300 

SWEDISH METHODIST CHURCH. Brick edifice, corner First Avenue and Fourth 
Street. Rev. A. A. Dahlberg, pastor. 

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH. Comer of Church and Mulberry Streets. Dr. C. H. 
Mo^crip, pastor. Building erected in 1S53. Property valued at $i8.000. Church 
has 300 members. 

STATE STREET BAPTIST CHURCH. Organized in 1858, and located at corner of 
State and Third Streets. Rev. J. T. Burhoe, pastor. Property valued at $33,030. 

SWKDISH BAPTIST CHURCH. Brick edifice at corner of Seventh Street and 
Fourth Avenue. Rev. Petrus Swartz, pastor. 

FIR*T CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Organized in 1837. Now located at corner 
of Kishu-aukt-e Street and Firt Avenue. Rev. W. W. Leete, pastor. Property 
valuel at 161,000. 


SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. Organized 1849. New edifice at corner 
of Church and North Streets, to seat 2,000 persons. Dr. Walter M. Barrows, pas- 
tor. Value of all church property, $150,000. 

LINCOLN MISSION. Colored. Meets in First Congregational Church Sunday 

FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH. Organized 1854. Brick edifice at corner of Third 
and Oak. Largest Swedish church and congregation in the United States. Mem- 
bership nearly 2,200. Rev. L. A. Johnston, pastor. Church property valued at 

ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH. Corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street. Present 
church built in 1885 at a cost of $30,000. Membership about 700. Rev. S. G. Ohman, 
pastor. Church building of brick and will seat 1,000 persons. 

Street. Rev. A. Fors, pastor. Edifice valued at $15,000, and will seat 800 persons. 

FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH. Corner of Chestnut and Church Streets. Rev. 
Prof. G. J. Kannmacher, pastor. 

ST. PAUL'S GERMAN LUTHERAN CHURCH. Chestnut Street, between Church and 
Court. Brick edifice worth $10,000. Rev. L. W. Dorn, pastor. 

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. North Main Street, near Mulberry. Church 
erected in 1868. Property valued at $60,000. Society organized in 1&54. Rev. Geo. 
Harkness, pastor. 

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Organized in 1856. Brick church 
edifice, valued atl$20,000; located at corner of Second and Oak Streets. Society has 
300 members. Rev. W. M. Campbell, pastor. 

CHURCH OF THE CHRISTIAN UNION. Undenominational. New edifice finished 
1891, at a value of $60,000. Has 500 members. Dr. Thomas Kerr, pator. 

EMMANUEL^ EPISCOPAL CHURCH. Corner North and Church Streets. Dean D. 
C. Peabody, rector. Property valued at $25,000. Church has about 300 communi- 

ST. JAMES CATHOLIC CHURCH. North Second Street. Rev. Fr. J. J. Flaherty, 
priest in charge. Have church building, school and deanery, valued at $50,000. 
There are about 800 parishioners. 

ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH. Corner of Winnebago and Elin Streets. 
Have one of the handsomest edifices in the city. Whole property valued at $85,000. 
Rev. Fr. M. L. McLaughlin, priest in charge; Father Wolff, assistant. There are 
about 2,500 parishioners on the roll. The church will seat nearly 1,500 persons. 

SWEDISH MISSION TABERNACLE. Corner Kishwaukee Street and Third Avenue. 
Rev. F. M. Johnson, pastor. Church will seat 800 persons. 

FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH. North First Street, between Market and Jefferson. 
Rev. H. t M. Dennis, pastor. Church is of brick, will seat 400, and is valued at 

J. Hunter, pastor. 

SWEDISH FREE METHODIST CHURCH. Meets over 302 East State Street. Rev. 
H. B. Marks, pastor. 




Her Health is Good. 

EATH stalks through many communities in the form of an epidemic. 
Some cities have been ravaged by cholera, and others have been pillaged 
by grim yellow jack. Here lurks miasma and there the pestilence. 
Thrice happy, then, must be the spot so situated that no plague can 
reach it; where summer's sun and winter's chill are so tempered that suffering is 
unknown, and where the dry, clear breeze of the upland prairie bears health and 
energy on its wings. Much of the vigor of Rockford and Northern Illinois is due to 
the even and healthful climate she enjoys. The country is well above the lake 
level; there are no swamps or miasmatic spots, and the surface drainage is of the 
best. The average temperature is above sixty degrees, which scientists assert to 
be about the proper medium. There are no blizzards or extreme cold waves, and 
in summer the sun is seldom oppressive. The climate may well be described by 
the word genial. It is healthful, and the ravages of an epidemic are unknown. 
Rockford has the best and purest water to be found in the state. She has a perfect 
system of sewerage. She has an effective sanitary bureau and a complete method 
of house to house inspection. No pains or expense are spared to maintain her won- 
derful reputation as a healthy city. The death rate will not reach twelve per 
thousand a year, and her citizens can stay and attend to business through all sea- 
eons without experiencing discomfort. As a matter of fact Rockford might well 
advertise herself as a health resort, for there is certainly no city in the land that can 
make a better showing. She is in "the health belt," and her people are ruddy, vig- 
orous, and full of sand. 

Miles of Lumber 

is a more convincing sign of the endurance and prosperity of a 
community than the erection of hundreds of handsome homes. They 
indicate plainer than words can do that the spot is one upon which the 
world has set the seal of approval. They deal with substance rather than 
shadow. It may be taken as a general rule that dwellings are not built unless 
there is someone to occupy them. The element of speculation is almost unknown 
in home building. Either a man builds for himself or else he pretty nearly knows 
who is to occupy the house he is constructing. Therefore, if eleven hundred new 
houses are built in one city within a twelve-month, it may be taken for granted 
that there is a growing and energetic municipality. Even during the winter 
months the good work was going on, and the visitor who drove over the city on 
last Christmas day would have found no less than two hundred and fifty residences 
in various stages of completion. Up in the North End additions there are one- 
hundred and twenty-five elegant homes where the corn was waving bat little more 
than a year a<_ r o. In the West End a similar condition exists, and the factories 




there are being surrounded by attractive dwellings. East and southeast have also 
baen turned over to the builder and contractor, and many of the finest residences 
in the city are there to be found. The lumber used in a season's building opera- 
tions in Rockford exceeded 40,000,000 feet, and would make a railroad train more 
than twenty miles long. Most of this went into house building, and when the 
stores and factories are added to the list the season's work will exceed 11,500,000. 
The present, season promises to be even greater, as several very expensive build- 
ings are to be included in the list. It will be but a little time oefore Rockford will 
be one of the best built cities in the west. Four to six-story buildings are becom- 
ing the rule, and the residences will compare with those of any city in the land. A 
thousand more new houses will be built within another year, and still it will be 
found difficult to find a place to lay the head. There are no vacant stores or dwell- 
ings in the city to-day, and small prospect of there being any for some time to 
come. House building is a certain investment, and with the judicious purchase of 
real estate can be made to yield a profit of ten to twenty -five per cent, the first 
year. The men who build houses in Rockford are taking no chances. They are 
backing a sure thing. There's no such word as fail. 

Ur^cle Sard's Business. 

i HE postage stamp gets thoroughly licked in Rockford and the business 
transacted in Uncle Sam's office is very extensive. The reports of the Post- 
master General upon the affairs of the 128 first-class offices in the land, 
show that Rockford stands far higher than her population would warrant. 
She ranks with cities of 40,000 or 50,000 population. There is no better criterion 
of a city's enterprise and commercial standing than these self-same post-ofllce 
statements. The last report shows that the receipts of the office are over $55,000 a 
year. The per cent, of increase over the previous year's business is thirteen, which 
is just the same as the advance in Chicago and greater than any other city in the 
*tate. Take, in fact, all statistics postal, railroad, financial and otherwise, and 
they clearly show that Rockford is the second city in the great state of Illinois. 
It takes a Chicago to beat her. The manufactories, the insurance companies, tin- 
seed farms, and the real estate interests all aid in swelling the purse of Uncle Sam, 
who makes an annual net profit of over 130,000 out of the Forest City. Col. Thomas 
G. Lawler is the efficient postmaster. He has eight office assistants and fourteen 
carrier*. Two more carriers are needed and will be allowed. There are sixty street 
boxes. The carriers handle over 6,000,000 pieces of mail matter each year, and do 
it with smiling faces. So important has the postal business of Rockford become 
that the last congress appropriated $100,000 for the erection of a suitable govern- 
ment building, and elaborate plans have already been prepared for the structure, 
work upon the foundation of which is already undertaken. It will be an edifice in 
which the citizens may take justifiable pride. 



Wir]r)ebago County. 

ILLINOIS was admitted into the union of states in April 1818, and at that time 
its population was but a trifle larger than Rockford boasts of to-day. What is 
now Winuebago county was visited by white people in 1812 and 1833. The 
first white settler, however, is generally reputed to have been Stephen Mack, 
who pitched his cabin near the mouth of the Pecatonica river, about twelve 
miles north of the Rockford of the present day, some time about 1829. Stephen 
was a college graduate, a Vermonter. and something of a dude, but for some reason 
he drifted west into the fur business, married a squaw and became the patron 
saint of Winnebago county. In after years when the ford had become Rockford 
and a seminary had been reared, two of his daughters attended school there for a 
time. But their wild Indian blood rebelled and they soon drifted away to the reser- 
vation in Minnesota. 

John Phelps cruised down the Pecatonica from Mineral Point, Wis , in 1833, 
and landed where South Rockford now spreads herself. He stopped but a short 
time, however, but took to his canoe again and journeyed down to start the town of 
Oregon. In the month of August of the following year Germanicus Kent of Ala- 
bama and Thatcher Blake of Maine came down from Galena by wagon and boat 
and struck the same South Rockford spot. There they settled and Kent built a 
saw mill, near the mouth of what is now Kent's creek. Both pioneers are now 
dead, but Mrs. Thatcher Blake still lives in a handsome home on a portion of the 
beautiful farm her husband claimed on the bank of Rock river, just south of the 
city limits. After the arrival of these settlers the country began to receive numer- 
ous sturdy pioneers. They came mainly from the New England States. In June 
1835 the population of the Rockford settlement was eleven souls and a like number 
of bodies. In Janaary 1836, the county of Winnebago was organized, then includ- 
ing what is now the county of Boone. In August 1836. the first election was held, 
and li.*0 votes were cast. Wiunebago county was in 1840 set apart to its present 
eize. Now it is one of the greatest counties in a great state. It contains 50,000 
busy people, and for manufacturing and agriculture casts down its gauntlet to the 
entire nation. The farming districts are wealthy and teem with the best products'of 
the soil. Nature intended Winuebago to be a magnificent and prosperous area, and 
the results have not belied her wishes. 

The affairs of the county have ever been administered with fidelity and wis- 
dom. She has always been well governed. The most imposing court house in Illi- 
nois outside of Chicago was built here at a cost of 1250,000. All the buildings, 
bridgts, and improvements owned by the county are of the very best, and in deed 
and truth she blossoms aa the rose. The leading county officials at the present 
time are: 

County Judge RUFUS C. BAILEY. 

County Clerk MARCUS A. NORTON. 
Circuit Clerk LEWIS F. LAKE. 

County Treasurer JOHN BEATSON. 
State's Attorney CHAP. A. WORKS. 
Supt. of Schools CHAS. J. KINNIE. 
Coroner N. S. AAOESEN. 

Master-in-Cbancery H. W r . TAYLOP. 



Real Estate irj RocKford, 

ESTATE is the basis of all values, the foundation of all investments. 
From the dawn of time to the tail end of eternity it was and must be 
considered the chief factor in the world's material advancement. Colum- 
bus was looking for real estate when he sailed westward and discovered 
a new hemisphere. Those Spanish adventurers of three and four hundred 
years ago were all real estate prospectors and speculators. It is true they wanted 
mines of gold and silver thrown in, but still they did not fail to raise the royal 
standard and claim the real estate in the name of the king. Conquest is but 
another name for transfering realty. Alexander was the greatest landholder of his 
time, and he died crying because there were not more additions he might open. 
This passion for land acquirement has been the means of bearing civilization into 
many a dark corner of the earth. The pioneer and the explorer have made this 
world the desirable place of residence it is. The sturdy sons of New England 
wandered forth into the west, and lo ! the Mississippi valley blossomed as the rose. 
They saw that the land was fair and so they possessed it. It is to their wisdom 
and forethought; their ambition for real estate possession, that Rockford to-day 
owes her prosperity. Those enterprising settlers have made corner lots valuable, 
and caused Rockford realty to become good as gold. They live to see the fruition 
of their hopes, and as the city spreads they smile. 

The development of Rockford is in no one direction. The railroads so sur- 
round it that all parts possess eqnal advantages. They build side tracks wherever 
asked, and all factories are placed upon equal footing so far as railway and shipping 
facilities are concerned. Thus it has been that Rockford has quietly spread 
herself in all directions. The North End, the West End, the East Side, and the 
South Side have all swelled without detriment to one another. A dozen sub-divi- 
sions have been opened up, and each one has demonstrated the need of the 
community for it. No wild western methods are needed to float Rockford real 
estate. The newer additions contain no less than twenty of the largest factories in 
the city. The employes in nearly every instance are heads of families, and what is 
more natural than that they should desire a home near where they are employed? 
The result is that clean, cozy and cheerful manufacturing additions surround the 
city, and real estate is everywhere enhanced in value. It is a matter of record that 
a dollar was never lost in an investment in Rockford realty, and that many persons 
have made snug fortunes with but little capital to start with. The advance in 
values has been rapid, but well sustained. The rule of supply and demand is made 
to apply to the real estate business. There is no unnatural forcing of property 
upon the market. Men who build homes and intend to occupy them themselves 
are permitted to buy lots at bed-rock prices, and are also given financial assistance 
as the work of construction goes on. There is no speculation in real estate circles. 
No man is taking any chances or running any risk when he puts money in land in 
the Forest City. Prices are not up in the skies. Desirable lots in the best manu- 
facturing and residence additions can be had for from $200 to $800. They are 
invariably 50x150 feet in size, and are easily accessible by one of the numerous 
rapid electric car lines. Along the river are some of the handsomest residence 
sites imaginable, and these sub-divisions are being built up with a very superior 
class of homes. Values are correspondingly higher, and the purchaser willingly 
pays $1,200 to $2,000 for his bargain. Highland, Sunrise, Churchill Place, and other 
East Side additions are also purely residence sub-divisions, and being well built up. 
The other additions contain more or less manufacturing, and property has a pcrma- 


nent and known value. In the southeast part of the city a remarkable development 
in this respect is noted. 

Property in the business portion of the heart of the city is held at well advanced 
prices, but in all other directions there is no attempt to crowd values. Realty at 
the junction of the two principal streets of the city cannot be touched for 11,500 a 
foot, although the lots are but seventy feet deep, and this, too, without taking the 
buildings into consideration. Property on Main and State streets, in the commer- 
cial center, ranges from 1250 to $1,00 ) per foot. These values have been maintained 
for several years, and clearly indicate the permanence and stability of a Rockford 
investment. Two years ago a syndicate sought to secure a site on West State street 
on which to erect a huge office building. They tramped from one end to the other 
and could find no one who desired to sell. The office building is now erected on 
another street where a vacant site was found. The old city the Rockford of ten 
years' ago is well built up. Very little of it is for sale, and that by parties who 
desire to build and dwell in the newer, out-lying portions, which are made central 
and accessible by rapid electric railway lines. The development of these additions 
has been remarkable. The class of residences erected are superior in their average 
to those in the more central part of the city. The lots were purchased for one-third 
or one-half the prices of the others, and yet the resident can reach his store or office 
in less time than his down-town friend. He rides; the other walks. For the 
thousands who are employed in the factories, and who are in most instances heads 
of families, the land surrounding these industrial institutions is in great demand. 
They want homes, and they are enabled to purchase lots at very reasonable figures. 
Many shrewd investors are putting up large numbers of dwellings, and are renting 
or selling them so as to net a handsome profit. There is room for more of these. 
The demand for houses is far greater than the supply. The enterprising men 
interested in the development of these newer residence districts have put in at 
least a million dollars of their own money, and have laid a sure foundation. They 
offer fair and square propositions to capitalist and workingman alike. Lets for 
actual home builders may be bought at very low figures, with an absolute certainty 
of their being a profitable investment. Rockford people invest their savings in 
Rockford realty. They realize that they are taking no chances then. 

Tt\e Bridges. 

EAUTIFUL Rock River winds through Rockford, and divides it into two 
districts almost equal in population. Six costly bridges span this stream, 
and trade and commerce goes back and forth upon them. They represent 
an outlay of $250,000 on the part of the city and the railroads. It has been the 
policy of the municipality to build well. The steel plate girder bridge at State 
street, which was put in last year, cost the city over $60,000, and is said to be the 
strongest and best constructed road bridge in the United States. It was completed 
early in 1891 by the contractors, the Massillon Bridge Company, of Massillon, 
Ohio. The bridge is about five hundred feet in length, and stands on four stone 
piers, with massive abutments on either bank. It is a superb specimen of bridge 
construction in its every detail. There are also twenty excellent bridges across 
Kent's and Keith's Creeks, most of them built of iron, and the massive Winnebago 
street viaduct, spanning the entire yards of C., M. & St. P., C., B. & Q., and I. C. 



RocKford's Clearing House. 

say that the financial and fiduciary interests of the Forest City at the present 
time are of surpassing importance, does not adequately convey an idea of 
the extent thereof. The vast amount of capital invested in banking and 
kindred lines, and the altogether phenomenal increase in savings and 
deposits in our many and varied moneyed institutions during the past few 
years, have given Rockford supremacy as the financial centre in Northern Illinois 
outside of Chicago, and all the indications are that she is bound to maintain the 
lead in this respect. In no city of its size can a like number of solid and substantial 
corporations be found whose career has been uninterrupted prosperity; pass- 
ing through seasons of panic, business depressions, and stringency in the money 
market with credit and usefulness unimpaired and standing and stability unshaken, 
as have the banks of this city. The vast amount of business done by the several 
banks has made it absolutely necessary for a clearing house, and such step's were 
taken a short time ago. Rockford has a very large business, and in all probability 
will be able to show daily clearings of $150,000 to $200,000 per day. It has been 
customary for the messenger boys from each bank to visit all the other banks with 
the checks each day for a settlement, but under the present system it has been 
simplified, until the time required to transact all the business is but thirty minutes 
instead of half a day as formerly. 

Tt|e West Er)d Observatory. 

N one of the loftiest elevations in or around Rockford lying just west of 
the base ball park, is soon to be erected the "West End Observatory," 
. which will prove one of the most novel attractions that any city can 
boast of. It is not a tower of Babel, although it seems much akin to it. 
It will tower toward the skies like one of the pyramids, or like the sculptured 
shaft of Cleopatra's needle. A stock company has been formed for its construc- 
tion and the projectors look upon it as an excellent investment. Its location is in 
the heart of the flourishing West End addition, on the line of the new electric 
railway, thus furnishing an attraction calculated to bring wealth into the coffers 
of the street car company. The plans call for a tower forty feet square, rising to 
an altitude of nearly two hundred feet. There will be a steam power elevator to 
carry visitors quickly to the top. There a broad panorama will be unfolded to the 
eye and a perfect view of the Forest City and its beauties be presented. There will 
be landings at various stages of the journey. Refreshment booths will be main- 
tained, and concerts will be given at the observatory from time to time. It will also 
be an excellent spot for pyrotechnic displays. 



Before arid flfter tr\e War. 

good old county of Winnebago sent forth 3,200 brave men during the civil 
war period. The county was not as populous then as now, and they could 
not well be spared. But they respected their country's call and went just 
the same. It was in Rockford that the nucleus of the Ellsworth Zouaves was 
formed, and many a gallant leader hailed from Winnebago county. The Illinois 
department of the Grand Army of the Republic is the senior body in that organiza- 
tion. Col. NeviusPost, of Rockford, is Post No. 1 of that department, and there- 
fore leader in national demonstrations of the order. Col. Thos. G. Lawler has 
been commander of the post since its organization, twenty-three years ago. There 
Are still over five hundred surviving members. They have extensive auxiliaries, 
too, in the Woman's Relief Corps, and a camp of Sons of Veterans. 

The militia of to day is also well represented in Rockford. The city is the 
headquarters of the Third Regiment Illinois National Guard, and two companies 
Are located here. In local parlance they are known as the Rockford Rifles and the 
Rockford Grays. The latter are the progenitors of the Ellsworth Zouaves, but 
the former has become the senior company by reason of the reorganization of the 
other. The regiment is commanded by Col. Tbos. G. Lawler. Other regimental 
officers in Rockford are: Adjutant, Lewis F. Lake; Chaplain, G. R. Vanhorne; 
Inspector of Rifle Practice, P. T. Anderson. Capt. Wm. Wildt leads the Grays to 
victory or defeat, and Capt. A. E. Fisher heads the Rifles. 

fl Corriplete Server Systenq, 

ITHOUT good drainage, sanitary plumbing and the exercise of ordinary 
health methods, any community is apt to be threatened with disease. 
Rockford fears nothing. She is well situated, and boasts of one of the 
most perfect sewer systems in the state. A broad river flows through 
ler center, almost evenly dividing the population, and on either side two creeks 
trace their way through much of each division, furnishing natural watercourses. 
The fewer system as carried cut follows the wcik of nature very closely. Through 
these valleys[large mains have been placed ard auxiliary sewers drain into these as 
'welllas directly into the river. It is the opinion of the leading engineers of the 
time that the Rockford system is one of the best in the country and will provide 
for thejfuture. At present it is as complete as will usually be found in a city of 
.50,000 ptcple. About four miles of new mains are laid each year. The system, 
-when this season's operations are concluded, will embrace about twenty-one miles, 
representing an outlay of nearly fgOO,CCC. The Fewer department is quite an im- 
portant one in the city. All plumbing must be done by licensed plumbers, and the 
connections tire all subject to city examination and approval. There is a liberal 
supply of catch basins and manholes, and the mains are all of ample size to per- 
form' tbtir'n-iti-u i! of cleansing abeautiful city. 



RocKford's Paved Streets. 

LEAN, well-kept and well-paved thoroughfares are a very reliable indica- 
tion of the spirit of enterprise that prevails in a municipality. Nothing 
impresses a stranger more in visiting a city than to find that the streets 
are smooth and well cared for. Rockford has an excellent pavement <ys- 
tem which is being constantly enlarged. Experiments have been made with cedar 
blocks, brick and granite as paving materials, and the two former are in use. The 
first pavement laid in Rockford was that of East State Street, which was com- 
pleted in the fall of 1889. Since that time much more has been laid, and this year 
will witness the doubling of the paving area. All the central business portion of 
the city is now paved, as also are the two leading residence thoroughfares. Ordi* 
nances are prepared for the paving of other streets, and the present plan of the 
pavement system includes over fifty blocks which will cost when all completed 
nearly $300,000. Much of this pavement was laid by local contractors. It is all of 
the best and is invariably clean and well cared for. It affords superb surface drainage 
in the business portion and the thoroughfares are usually as neat as a New Eng- 
land kitchen. It is indeed one of Rockford's boasts that she is a well paved city. 
Thepaving contracts awarded alone in the month of June 1891 exceeded $92,000, 
and several others WITV then still pending. 

- 1-JO 

Rdder^da ar\d Errata. 

The directory of industries and corporations, commencing on page 27 has 
received some additions since its compilement. June 1891 was a busy month among 
men of enterprise. Some changes are also to be recorded in established institu- 
tions, so that this chapter of addenda and errata is made necessary : 

Graham Brothers. This corporation, which operates woolen, cotton and 
paper mills, and also two distilleries, have purchased the large Keeney paper mill 
plant on the east bank of Rock river, and have made extensive additions and alter- 
ations. They have invested $75,000 in the business and will run night and day. 
They employ forty hands in the paper mill; turnout a product of $150,000 per 
annum, and their pay roll is about $22,000 a year. 

American Burial Case Company. Incorporated July 1891. Capital 
$30,000. Organized by Emil Yonngberg and Karl V. Berglund. Will probably 
erect a four-story brick and frame building in Robertson's Stockholm Park addi- 
tion, east of Churchill Place. Will employ fifty hands, with an annual business of 
$75,000 and a pay-roll of $22,000. The company expects to increase its capital to 
$50,000 within a few months. 

Rockfor*! Flour Sieve Company. Incorporated July 1891, by Dr. John 
Thelberg, H. Wallerstedt, R. G. McEvoy, and- others. Capital $25,000. Plant not 
yet located. Will employ twenty hands and expect to do a business of $25,000 a 

Champion Watch Company. Organized July 1891, by L. E. Crandall, 
Matthias Bredt, S. E. Mayo and others. Capital stock $250,000. The company 
expect to build in Manning's addition in the West End. Their factory will be of 
brick, 69x353 feet in size and two stories high. They will do a business of $100,000 
a year and expect to exploy 200 hands, with a pay-roll of $120.000 per annum. 

Rock River Planing JTIill Company. Organized July 1891, with a 
capital of $50,000. 

Fidelity Building and Loan Association. Organized May and 
June 1891. Authorized capital $20,030,003. George M. Blake, President; Gilbert 
Woodruff, Vice-President; Wm. G. Bennett, Secretary; Will F. Woodruff, Treas- 

Rockford Improvement Association. E. M. Revell, President; Geo. 
F. Pt-ntield, Secretary. The interests of the city looked after, and all information 
furnished inquirers. Factory sites located. 

West .End Improvement Company. B. A. Knight, General Mana- 
ger. To develop all West End property. 

H. W. Price Improvement Company. H. W. Price, President; E. H. 
Marsh, Secretary. Organized to build up and improve Xorth End property. 

Harlem Park Company. Organized 1891. Capital $5,000. E. H. Marsh, 
President: John H. Camlin, Secretary. 


Rockford Su?ar Work*. Located between Seminary ^Street ]and Rock 
river. B. J. Musser, President; Edward J. Helden, Secretary. Capital $300,000. 
Occupy three large buildings, four and five stories high. Employ from fifty to 
three hundred hands, and do a business of $500,000 a year. 

Mechanics' Machine Company. Capital, $10,000. Organized by Levin 
Faust, Gustaf A. Daliii and Carl J. Forsberg. Do a general machine shop busi- 

Climax Slide and Table Company. W. I. Weld succeeds L. B. Oar 
rett as secretary. 

Royal Sewing Machine Company. W. H. Dugdale is made general 

West End Furniture Company* Mr. J. H. Lynn has been elected sec- 
retary. The company purposes to double the size of its plant in a short time. 

Star Furniture Company. Secretary P. G. Lundquist being on the road 
much of the time, Emil Swenson has been elected assistant secretary. 

Did tl\e 

engravings in this work are all half-tone cuts made by A. Zeese & Co., of 
Chicago. Nearly all were taken from photographs by Erick Erickson. The 
printing and binding is the work of the Forest City Publishing Company. 
We are indebted to Mr. D. S. Schureman, the Architect, for drawings furnished 
for the following buildings: The Forest City Knitting Co., Oscar Nelson's Resi- 
dence, Ingersoll Milling Machine Co., Frank Barnes' Flats, Second Congregational 
Church, and the Hotel Nelson. 








The ForeM city 5 

Past Hinl Present 

Kockfnnl Churches. 7 

Not a .Mushroom 9 

Secret Societies 9 

Education in Rockford 11 

Business Blocks 11 

Pleasures of Summer 13 

Jobbing in Rockford 15 

Commercial Club 15 

Water Works 15 

Municipal Management 17 

Fire Department 17 

Police Protection 19 

Asa Railroad Center 19-21 

Financial Institutions 23-25 

Facts and Figures 25 

The Various Ends 25 

Co-Operative Idea 27 

Furniture Factories 27-33 

Agricultural Implements 33-37 

Machine Shops and Metal W T ork- 

ers 39-43 

Cotton, Woolen, Paper and Knit- 
ting Mills 45-47 

Miscellaneous Industries 49-59 

Semi-Municipal Institutions 59-61 

Rockford Press 61-63 

Printing and Publishing 63 

W r hat Rockford Makes 65-69 

As a Business Center 71 

Temperance Headquarters 71 

Rockford's Thespian Temple 73 


City Hospital 73-75- 

Public Library 75 

Social Pleasures and Society 75- 

Rockford Y. M. C. A 77 

A City of Fine Dwellings 1 J7-75> 

Rockford Driving Club 79- 

Lowell of the West 81 

Municipal Improvements 83- 

Two Valuable Parks 83-85 

The Hotels of Rockford 87 

Rockford's Future 87 

What Rockford Wants 89- 

Young Men to the Front 89 

Tale of Two Years 91 

The Swedish Citizens 91-93 

Electricity in Rockford 93- 

Music in the Forest City 95-97 

Public School System 97-99- 

Rockford Seminary 101-103 

Church Directory 103-105- 

Her Health is Good 107 

Twenty Miles of Lumber 107-109- 

Uncle Sam's Business 109- 

Winnebago County Ill 

Real Estate in Rockford 113-115- 

The Bridges of Rockford 115 

Rockford's Clearing House 117 

The West End Observatory 117 

Before and After the War 119- 

Complete Sewer System 1 19 

Rockford's Paved Streets 120 

Addenda and Errata 121-123 

Who Did the Work .. 123 



Blakeman & Dobson.Churn Factory . 106> 

W. F. & John Barnes Company 28 

Frank Barnes' Flats 22 

John Barnes' Residence 118- 

E. W. Blaisdell's Residence 118 

Wm. Brown Building 125 

Commercial Club House 114 

Court Street M. E. Church g 

Climax Slide and Center Table Company. 56 

Central Furniture Company 84 

Diamond Furniture Company 124 

Dr. E. C. Dunn's Residence 98 

East State Street.... 40- 

Excelsior Furniture Company 78 

Emerson, Talcott & Company 108- 




Fii>r Lutheran Swedish Church 16 

Forest City Knitting Company 9ft 

Forest City National Bank , 52 

Forest City Furniture Company 104 

A. D. Eorbes' Residence 98 

(irahum's Cotton Mills 90 

liraham's Distillery 90 

(Venuania Hall 60 

Globe Clothing Company 92 

(iovermuiMit Building. 102 

II. H. Hamilton's Residence 100 

A. Hime's Barrel Factory ., 124 

Hess, Hopkins & Company 110 

Ingersoll Milling Company 46 

Illinois Chair Company 110 

Illinois Central Depot 116 

Mechanics' Furniture Company 64 

Mrs. S. C. Miller's Residence 1SJ5 

Hotel Nelson 122 

Oscar Nelson's Residence 82 

National Syrup Company, Sugar Works 32 

George F. Penfield's Residence 112 

H. H. Palmer Churn Factory 46 

Phoenix Furniture Company 74 

Rockford Mantel and Furniture Company 58 

Rockford High School 60 

Rockford Co operative Furniture Company 62 

Rockford Desk and Furniture Company 66 

Rockford Standard Furniture Company 68 

Rockford Silver Plate Company 80 

Rockford Oat Meal Company 86 

Rockford City Hospital 88 

Rockford Cabinet Company 88 

Rockford Mitten and Hosiery Company 94 

Rockford Plow Works 120 

Rockford Female Seminary 12 

Rockford Electric Manufacturing Company 14 

Rockford Opera House 20 

Rockford Watch Factory 24 

Rockford Shoe Manufacturing Company 20 

Rockford Manufacturing Company 36 

Rockford Clothing Company 38 

Rockford Tack Company 44 

Rockford Burial Case Company 48 

Rockford Paint Company 52 

Rockford Chair and Furniture Company 56 

Rhoades, Utter Paper Mill 112 

Royal Sewing Machine Company 36 

Sturtevant's Flouring Mills 106 

Second Congregational Church 18 

St. Mary's Catholic Church 42 

Skandia Shoe Company 48 

Skandia Plow Company 96 

Skandia Furniture Company 54 

Star Furniture Company 70 

Trahern Pump Company 44 

Tinker's Swiss Cottage 10 

Mrs. W. D. Trahern's Residence 100 

Union Furniture Company 76 

1'ttt-r Manufacturing Company 84 

Van Wie Gas Stove Company 34 

Winnebago Ceunty Court House 6 

West State Street 50 

West End Furnitnre Company 72 

S. B. Wilkins Company Knitting Factory 86 

Young Men's Christian Association Building 102 




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